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February 13, 2014  |   Comments (4)   |   Post a comment

Indiana district gives 3-year notice to end bus service

By Thomas McMahon


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INDIANAPOLIS — School bus service could end in 2017 for Metropolitan School District of Decatur Township students under a resolution passed on Tuesday.

The district's board approved a resolution to notify the Indiana Department of Education and the public that it may terminate transportation service in 2017. State law requires districts to give three years of notice before discontinuing transportation.

Decatur Township Superintendent Matt Prusiecki said that the move would be "a cut nobody wants to make," but "unfortunately, due to our financial situation, this is a cut we need to consider in the next three years."

The district reportedly faces a $2.5 million annual budget shortfall and will lose $7.5 million to property tax caps in 2014. A referendum question on a May 6 ballot will ask Decatur Township voters to approve an additional local property tax of $0.2986 beginning in 2015 that would generate an additional $3.85 million in annual revenue.

Prusiecki said that if the referendum passes, "we will not need to pursue, or even consider, discontinuing transportation. But if the referendum fails, we have to give notice now to prepare to discontinue transportation in 2017.”

Elsewhere in Indiana, the Muncie Community Schools board on Tuesday opted to not pass a resolution to end transportation service in three years, according to The Star Press.

In November, a referendum that would have raised property taxes to provide funding for Muncie Community Schools’ bus contractor was rejected, as previously reported.


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Read more about: budget cuts, Indiana, school board


My district provides little school transportation. The majority of transportation is special needs, the belief that its a parents responsibility and the fact the schools were built as neighborhood schools meaning a short walking distance is the reason we don't have district wide busing. As more people are coming to my state as a result of the oil boom, many people are surprise on the lack of busing available. We are looking at expanding our busing but the expansion would only last as long as the oil boom continues.

Barry    |    Feb 14, 2014 06:05 AM

The State of Illinois has been cutting transportation budgets to districts for that last 5 years. Governor Quinn has stated publicly that "IT IS THE PARENTS RESPONSIBLITY TO GET THEIR KIDS TO SCHOOL", now I don't agree with this at all. When it takes both parents working to support their families. Many parents are blue collar workers punching a clock that requires them to start at 7 o'clock and work til 4 pm. They are not 9-5 jobs like our elected officials seem to enjoy. But putting the burden of this on already strapped families by raising property taxes, because the State's have cut funding is unfair to them. It is the States fault for their over spending. These families have already paid taxes for this and the State's Congress has overspent.

Doug    |    Feb 14, 2014 04:07 AM

Mr. Rogge makes a good point. It's crazy to even consider having parents drive kids to school in this day of high energy costs and traffic congestion. Most kids in our school district take the bus. I even have seniors on my HS run. One student parks his truck at the bus stop then rides the bus to school! What few parents do transport their kids I find to be rather annoying as the flit around the parking lots and roads on campus, interfering with school bus traffic. School buses are given priority over personal car traffic at the beginning of the day and at dismissal. Some parents have complained about this. Our traffic directors tell them to put their kids on the bus if they don't want to wait for the buses to clear out before they can go.

G Bridgman    |    Feb 13, 2014 06:10 PM

If students can't walk a short distance to the school, cutting bus services will only push the displaced riders into personal vehicles and less-safe forms of transportation like bicycles and skateboards. A bus should not be more expensive than a bunch of parents driving personal vehicles to and from the school. Just yesterday, I went past a middle school that had at least forty personal vehicles lined up around the school, presumably all parents waiting to pick up students, and the traffic jam was spilling into the main lanes in two directions. If all of those students were on buses, there wouldn't be all this wasteful engine-idling and non-school traffic being disrupted.

Alexander Rogge    |    Feb 13, 2014 05:42 PM

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