It's appalling the district didn't notify parents about reduced transportation services.

In the board meeting on August 11th, a couple parents addressed the BUSD's board of trustees regarding the elimination of busing for secondary students. Click here for my summary of the meeting on my website. As one parent put it, the fact that the district didn't notify parents about the state of busing in the district is "appalling". Many parents didn't find out until they contacted the district to buy their bus passes for this year.

The district held two public forums back in February. Eliminating busing and increasing class sizes were discussed as some of the solutions to the district's budget crisis. After those meetings the district decided to eliminate busing for the middle schools and high school and to increase class sizes for kindergarten and third grade. But they failed to tell the parents. These topics, as well as many other budget reducing ideas, have been discussed many times in board meetings since and a number of parents have gone before the board of trustees to express their disappointment.

The administration must have assumed that all parents were aware of what was happening in their meetings. The problem with this assumption is that it assumes parents attended the meetings or read the minutes when the district got around to posting them on the website. Side note, the last minutes posted on their site as of tonight, August 30th, are from June 9th - almost three months ago. It would seem issues as important as these two should have generated at least a district wide automated phone call from the superintendent.

I am sure as parents experience the heavy traffic around the middle schools and high schools and as parents realize the challenge facing our kindergarten and third grade teachers with class sizes approaching 40 students, that more parents will find time on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month to come to the board meetings to complain to the trustees and the administration. It's too late for that. Parents will be told by the board and the administration that they had to make tough decisions and that the public was aware of these decisions. These parents will go home feeling they wasted their time and probably won't make an effort to attend another board meeting.

If parents want to make a difference, they need to coordinate and organize to provide solutions and strategies for the board to follow. A group of parents presenting alternative ideas and suggestions leading the board of trustees to instruct the administration how to reinstate district wide busing and reduce class sizes is much harder to dismiss than a couple parents complaining to the board in five minute speeches every two weeks. I am willing to organize a group effort if anyone is interested in being organized. I'd like to hear from you.

It is time to stop complaining and step up and get involved.