TAMPA, Fla. — Nearly 7,500 Hillsborough County middle and high school students may no longer receive school bus service at the start of the next school year, due to possible spending cuts, Tampa Bay Times reports.
The students who may lose access to school transportation fall under the category of “courtesy riders” because they live within 2 miles of their schools. The state does not provide direct funding for courtesy busing, which costs as much as $9.5 million a year for Hillsborough County Public Schools, according to the newspaper.
A school district audit of bus stops found more than 8,000 middle school and high school courtesy riders, but 803 of those students are considered eligible to ride the bus because of hazards outlined under state law. Hillsborough County Public Schools will continue to provide transportation to those 803 students, Tampa Bay Times reports.
If the cuts are approved next Tuesday by the school board, parents with children impacted by the decision will receive notification letters and will be able to appeal the decision by filling out a form to make a case for a safety hazard, according to the newspaper. The district will repeat the process for elementary schools in preparation for the 2018-19 school year, Tampa Bay Times reports.
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