Public transport isn’t cheap anymore, even with a concession it is $607 for a full-year student pass. Some families cannot afford a myki, let alone a lump-sum payment, which is currently the cheapest option.
State Schools’ Relief hopes that the simple but transformative action of providing free travel will build a bridge to educational access, and with it, longer-term benefit for recipients, and their families.
CEO of State Schools’ Relief, Sue Karzis, believes that ensuring access to public transport will amplify the positive outcomes of State Schools’ Relief’s existing services and will be a “win win” for all concerned.
“This pilot program will address a key barrier to engaging with education, which is the ability to travel safely to and from school. At State Schools’ Relief, we believe that ensuring access to public transport will result in a myriad of positive outcomes, including increased attendance rates, engagement and a greater sense of wellbeing,” she said.
Beginning in Term 1, 2020, schools will have the opportunity to place applications for Myki cards for any students experiencing significant financial hardship, preventing them from attending school due to the cost of travel.
Each card will be sent via registered post directly to the school with an initial $100 value. Students will then be able to receive a further two $100 top ups upon completion of a short survey.
Teachers of primary and secondary students who may be struggling to attend school due to a lack of access to public transport are encouraged to apply for the Myki cards via the State Schools’ Relief website https://ssr.net.au/schools/. 1,000 have been allocated primary and for secondary students and will be allocated on a first in first served basis. Applications are open from Term 1, 2020.