WAKE COUNTY, NC (WTVD) -- The cost of parking at Wake County schools is going up.
Last week the Board of Education approved a $30 increase to the student parking fee raising the cost to $200. Last year it cost $170 for students to park for the year.
"I think $30 increase is not that much based on the fact that they have limited parking and they have to maintain the parking lots around here," said Meghan Smith, a parent.
Another parent, Paul Winston, sang a different tune.
"I can't believe they're going to increase the parking fees for getting kids to the school," Winston said. "It is a lot, especially for kids that are working; that's why they're driving to school, so they can get out early and go to work. That $30 is a lot of their paycheck."
School board officials told ABC11 they have had to find ways to make up for a $25 million budget gap. They said they've already made other tough decisions and cuts in places that parents and students won't notice.
"All the schools in Wake County are overpopulated so yes they have an inner-city school that has minimal parking, so without them maybe looking into putting a parking deck soon," Smith suggested.
Wake County Schools said all students who paid the online fee between July 1, 2018, and July 10, 2018, will have to go online and pay the $30 increase.
Jimmy Cvetkovski, a rising senior at Millbrook High School, started Save Our Spots, a Change.org petition to oppose the parking increase.
It's the first year he'll be driving -- and paying for parking -- instead of taking the bus.
"I remember standing out in the cold and the extreme heat waiting for the bus to come," he said. "It's not really about me as much as it is about the other students, where driving is the only option -- their parents can't drive them to school because they're at work.
"It bothers me that the other school districts it's so much less," Cvetkovski added
According to the News & Observer, schools systems in Durham, Johnston and Orange Counties charge $75 a year to park at school. Chapel Hill-Carrboro students pay $100.