SEATTLE — Seattle Public Schools’ board members have approved a transportation plan for the 2014-15 school year that includes bus arrival time changes, and cuts to service for some students to save money.
An amendment had been introduced by board Director Sue Peters to shift bus arrival times back by about 10 minutes from the most recent proposal, which is closer to the bus arrival times for many schools this year, and members approved this amendment.
The previous proposal called for adding 10 minutes to the start time of middle and high schools. Peters said this proposal would add as much as 20 minutes to the current arrival, start and departure times of many elementary schools.
“This unintended consequence poses an inequitable hardship on families whose children attend those schools, and the schools themselves, negatively impacting childcare needs, work and school lunch schedules, and after-school activities,” Peters wrote in a school board briefing/proposed action report.
She called her amendment a “compromise” that is intended as a one-year solution until the district re-evaluates the transportation service standards for the 2015-16 school year.
"Our effort to fine tune this is definitely in response to the community," Peters said. "People are being heard. While the proposals tonight may not be perfect, they are a step in the right direction."
Also, in an effort to save money, the school board approved ending yellow bus transportation to option school students who live outside that school’s middle school attendance area. A motion to eliminate transportation to elementary school students who live outside their school’s attendance area was approved as well.
Other changes that were approved include “sunsetting” any previous grandfathering of transportation that was allowed when the New Student Assignment Plan took effect in 2010-11 and standardizing all yellow bus arrival times to three tiers.
Officials said these measures will save the district more than $2.9 million next year.