At last night's board meeting, I think we finally made some progress.
I want to begin by thanking Board President Suzie Lara and her colleagues for considering my request and allowing me the additional time I needed to present my proposal.
After I finished, the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, Mr. Elatar, presented the administration's position. He argued it would be cost prohibitive to offer free busing for the entire district, even for one month. I don't agree with all his assumptions and I believe he inflated his figures but he convinced all the board members that a district wide program was too expensive. The additional routes and stops would require too many of the district's scarce resources. Eventually the motion to deny my request was approved. Mrs. Lara, Mrs. De Longchamp and Mr. Hackney voted to deny the request and Mrs. Poulter and Mr. Orozco both abstained.
After Mr. Elatar's presentation, Board Member Janelle Poulter suggested implementing my one month proposal on a more limited basis just to see if there might be some validity to my position. She suggested the district add no additional routes or stops but try to fill up the existing runs by offering the service free, on a first come first serve basis, for the month of February. She emphasized the district should not incur any additional costs.
Mrs. Poulter and the other board members offered some ideas on how to implement the first come first serve application process and discussed what options the district could consider to reimburse the families paying for the service right now. There are a lot of details to work out and everyone understands they will need to begin to get the word out as soon as possible. I am encouraged that all the board members agreed it was worth considering and instructed Mr. Elatar to bring back a plan for consideration to the next board meeting.