The price to park on campus

Why are students being charged for parking at school?


Ellie Wingen, Page Editor

Capo has the luxury of owning three large parking lots, two of which allow for students to park. However, in order for these students to park at school, there is a $25 fee per semester. Why should students have to pay for the ability to park at their own school?

To start off, Capo is a public school meaning students do not have to pay to come to school unlike a student attending a private school would. Public schools receive money from the government to pay for major things like staff salaries, textbooks, etc. There are minor expenses, however, that enable the student board to have events and create changes around the school. With that being said, our school needs money to do special things for our students and staff, but creating a fee for parking should not be the method of obtaining it.

A large number of students this year are either 100% online, or only attend school two days a week, the hybrid option. This leaves a plethora of open parking spots for student drivers. Also, this only includes the students who are eligible to drive. There are plenty of parking spots available, therefore, the need to pay is not necessary at least for this year. 

Keep in mind that the school has not received as much money this year from dances, ASB fundraisers and sporting events therefore it is understandable that students are charged for having the privilege to park at school. However, students do not have an assigned parking spot when they pay for a parking pass. If students are to be charged for parking at school, they should be guaranteed a specific spot, location or have the opportunity to choose. As a student with a zero period, the upper parking lot maintains order through the ‘first come first serve’ method. Students wake up especially early to find a spot without competition and to avoid being late to their zero periods. With a guaranteed parking spot, students would no longer have to fight for one and could wake up knowing their spot is waiting for them when they arrive.

Capo’s location in the district does not make it easy for students to get to school in a quick and easy way. Capistrano Unified School District contains a large area meaning many students don’t live a walking distance from school. Their only way of transportation is through driving. An alternative to driving yourself to school is the free Mission Viejo Shuttle. Fortunately, some students are able to take the free shuttle to a location near their homes. While this is a great option for students who have trouble finding a carpool, the shuttle has very limited space. 

Another alternative might be to park somewhere nearby. However, there aren’t many parking lots available for students or parents. Capo is located on a hill, near a freeway and neighborhood. This doesn’t leave students with many options of alternative locations to park. 

Another issue is the traffic that parents or guardians create after school. Students have to pay for a parking spot, but most parents who are picking up their child after school either block students in or use a parking spot that is vacant at that moment. When parents park in the senior lot after school, they add to the chaos of the crowd and make it harder for students who have paid for parking to leave.” Understandably, the upper lot is one of the only ways to pick up students from the school, but these parents do not have to pay for the parking spot they are using.

Overall, students should not have to pay for parking when Capo’s parking lots are crowded and happen to be the only location to park as a student.