INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — Fort Osage School District has eliminated more than half of its school bus stops for the 2010-11 school year to offset its budget shortfall.
The move is upsetting to a group of parents, who say that it is putting their children’s safety on the line, KMBC.com reports.
Fort Osage Superintendent Mark Enderle discussed the ramifications of the district’s budget crunch in a letter to patrons on the district’s blog.
He noted that Gov. Jay Nixon’s reduction of $70 million from the state’s transportation budget affected many school districts, including Fort Osage. With this recent cut, the district’s funding for transportation for the upcoming school year is projected to be $650,000, which represents a nearly 33-percent reduction from less than two years ago.
“This year the district reduced expenditures by over $3 million, but still expects to deficit spend by over $1 million. Though our Board of Education showed great foresight in building up the district's balances, the fact is we cannot keep spending more than are taking in,” Enderle wrote. “In order to deal with the current economic situation, the district has made many decisions to reduce costs. The upcoming change to the transportation schedule is just one on a list that is all but certain to grow even longer.”
Enderle went on to say that he understands that the district’s changes to its transportation schedule will impact many people.
The district is inviting the community to a patron involvement committee forum on Thursday, Aug.5, regarding the changes in bus routes. Enderle will give a brief presentation and will then welcome questions and comments.