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      QPS Board approves hike in drivers ed costs

      UPDATE: December 22, 2010 at 9:37 p.m.

      The Quincy School Board agreed to apply for a waiver so that the district can raise price of the Behind the Wheel Class to two hundred and fifty dollars.

      It's currently fifty dollars.

      The next step is to apply for the waiver to the state. It will then have to be approved by then.


      Parents might have to dig a lot deeper in their wallets for driver's ed classes next fall. The class price at Quincy High School currently is $50.

      That could be raised to $250 but still won't cover the cost for the district per student.

      Drivers ed students in Illinois are required to take 30 hours of classes and six hours of behind the wheel driving instruction. A few years ago, the state of Illinois raised the maximum cost of Behind the Wheel classes from $50 to $250. Quincy chose not to raise the price then, but would like to now. Doing that would help cut the losses in the district.

      "Our expenses is $292.50 per student for Behind the Wheel. So, even at $250, we'll still not cover our costs. We'll greatly reduce the loss that we've been incurring when it went from $50 to $292," said Quincy Public Schools Superintendent Lonny Lemon.

      There is another option for drivers ed in Quincy. John Wood uses a company out of Champaign, Illinois.

      But are there any fears that people might start going to JWCC?

      "They already have. They already have. That's been ongoing a couple of years and actually knowing what their prices are, we're still not quite half it would be," said Lemon.

      John Wood charges almost double the cost of Quincy Public Schools. The Behind the Wheel class is $400, but that doesn't stop students from choosing John Wood.

      "We have seen a bit of an increase. I think that's more a result of students either being busy or not able to get into Drivers Ed. So, we provide an alternative," said Terry Jenkins of JWCC.

      The next step is to apply for the waiver to the state. It will then have to be approved by then.

      Superintendent Lonny Lemon says the $200 increase would help cover costs like insurance for students and vehicles and will not go towards teacher salaries.