ST. PAUL, Minn. — St. Paul Public Schools may soon do away with the option for parents to have their children transported to any school in the city in school buses under a proposed three-year plan that Superintendent Valeria Silva announced earlier this week.
Silva's plan would divide the city into six areas and restrict busing for students largely to the area in which they live. It is designed to promote cost savings, higher student achievement and greater consistency among schools, Pioneer Press reports.
Under the plan, 16 existing magnet elementary schools would lose their citywide busing. Some would become "community schools," a designation that includes what are now called neighborhood schools. By extension, community schools would offer busing within their areas, but not citywide.
Chief Business Officer Michael Baumann told Pioneer Press that the plan doesn't rely on new money from the state. Moreover, he said that in the first year of the plan’s implementation, it's likely that the rate of increase in transportation costs, which are about $30 million, will decrease from about 8 percent to 5 percent.
The plan would be phased in over the next three years, with full implementation in 2013-14. A series of public meetings on Silva's proposal is scheduled over the next month, and school board members are to vote on the plan March 15, according to the newspaper.