The Connecticut district will allow students who live more than half a mile from school — down from 1 mile — to ride the bus. Chronic absenteeism is up to 17% among kindergartners.
About 2,000 more Spring ISD students will be able to ride the bus, thanks to a decision by the district’s board. The cost for the first year will be $3.6 million.
In light of the civil unrest that has captivated the nation in recent weeks, the Ferguson-Florissant School District expands its school bus service to make sure students get to school safely. Bus routes for an elementary school in the “hot zone” of unrest will temporarily pick up children inside the normal 1-mile radius walk zone.
The Oak Ridge Board of Education is bringing back school bus service to about 1,300 of 1,800 students who had been affected by an expanded “parent responsibility zone,” following protests from parents and grandparents. The zone was expanded to 1.5 miles in June in an effort to reduce a $1.25 million budget deficit.
In March, Etiwanda School District launched a "shared cost model" pilot transportation program for students who live at least 3 miles from school. District officials say that the program "did not generate the interest nor the revenue that was expected," and the board decides to discontinue it after the last day of school.
A school board member at a Virginia district told the Washington Post, “We are not in the transportation business. We are in the education business.” That statement seems misguided and even unsettling. Yes, school districts’ primary responsibility is to educate children. But that doesn’t mean it’s their only responsibility. …
School boards would be required to provide free transportation for students who live 2 miles or more from their assigned school, up from one and a half miles, under House Bill 5967. In a letter to a local newspaper, Illinois School Transportation Association President Patrick Johnson writes that the legislation would put “thousands of school children at risk, increase traffic congestion and harm the environment.”
The board at Minnesota’s South Washington County Schools approves a plan to adjust bell times from four to three tiers, which will go into effect for the 2014-15 school year. However, the board decides against shortening walking distances to the levels at which they had been up until last school year.
In an effort to prevent late buses and enhance transportation service, Minnesota’s South Washington County Schools is proposing to change from a four-tier bell time schedule to three tiers. Another change under consideration would be to reduce walking distances from 1.5 miles to 1 mile for middle school students and from 2 to 1.5 miles for high school students.
After a 9-year-old girl was fatally struck by a pickup truck while walking home in December, parents petitioned the Etiwanda (Calif.) School District to bring back school bus service. The school board decides to implement a pilot transportation program for students who live at least 3 miles from school.
While walking school buses may make sense in some cases, parents should be informed that the traditional yellow school bus remains the safest way for children to get to school, NAPT Executive Director Mike Martin says. The walking bus concept has made headlines recently with a high-profile nod from first lady Michelle Obama.
Three years ago, the Anoka-Hennepin School District increased walking distances from homes to bus stops for all grade levels, which has enabled the district to reduce the number of buses it uses by 10 and to achieve a $500,000 annual savings. Transportation Director Keith Paulson discusses these and other efforts to increase efficiency.
The school district collaborated with its 19 transportation providers to come up with the new agreement, which freezes a rate increase, among other changes. Director of Pupil Transportation Ted Vasser tells SBF about how the deal was worked out.