I learned today that home to school busing for all students, except special education students, will be taken over by the city. This is the reason for the start time changes. Look for red curbs to show up in your neighborhoods this summer.
I understand cuts have to be made and maybe busing is the best place. I wish they had at least considered my suggestion to fully evaluate the program after taking steps to increase ridership. Last year I took a lot of heat for questioning the safety of elementary school kids on the city buses. I now know that the buses will be exclusively for students on their way to and from school. I know the city bus drivers have all been properly screened.
My problem is not that the district has decided transportation is expendable. I have a problem with how I learned of this, by word of mouth. Last week we received a flyer telling us the new start and end times were an effort to deal with the budget but nothing about the busing was mentioned. None of my sources are employed by the school district or the city but I believe they are credible. In the past our school district has kept us in the dark about things such as the superintendent's contract extension and details of the new district office; it isn't too much of a stretch to believe we're in the dark again. Parents have to stick together to stay informed. If anyone can confirm or deny any of this, please do.
Assuming my sources are correct, a move like this has to have been in the works for some time. Our superintendents, a majority of our school board members, city council members, city manager, city and school district transportation managers had to of all known about this. Numerous approvals and planning for an operation like this would have been necessary. If any of them were unaware this was in the works, they weren't doing their jobs. Why do we find out about this by word of mouth? Don't any of our elected officials believe we should have known about this some time ago? When was someone going to tell us?
Here are some other questions I hope to find the answers to:
- How much is it going to cost per student?
- Are the low income families who were receiving help with transportation costs from the school district going to have help now?
- Who will be setting the rules of conduct and who will be enforcing these rules?
- If there are kids causing problems for other kids, who is going to step in and take care of discipline?
- Doesn't our school board have to approve the elimination of busing before start and end times are changed?
- Don't we have the right to comment on this before the school board approves this?
- Am I the only one who is concerned?