CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Public Schools (CPS) board voted last week to cut bus service in an effort to save about $1.8 million annually. In the 2010-11 school year, the walking distance will be increased to one mile for elementary students and 1.25 miles for high school students, a quarter-mile increase in both instances.
In addition, high school students who take local public transit to school will pay an additional $0.50 fare each way. The changes will affect 2,300 elementary students and 472 high school students, and parents will be notified by mail, according to an article on Cincinnati.com.
The cuts are among several proposed reductions for the next two years introduced by Superintendent Mary Ronan and approved by the school board to deal with the $27.8 million gap in the budget for 2010-11.
The main source of budgetary pressure comes from a recent decision by a local energy utility to withhold tax payments to school districts while the utility appeals its last property-tax assessed valuation.
Some board members oppose the school bus cuts, Cincinnati.com reports, saying parents won't have enough time before the school year starts to find alternate transportation and that the district doesn't have safety programs in place. Board members also said they would have preferred making bigger cuts to high school bus service while leaving elementary transportation levels in place, as high school students have greater mobility.
CPS transportation for the next school year will still provide higher levels of service than the state-mandated minimum of transportation for students who live two miles or more from school.