BURLINGTON, Ill. — Parents are questioning a school district’s decision to cancel school bus service for some students who live too close to their school weeks before classes start, The Courier-News reports.
Residents in some Elgin neighborhoods received a letter from Central Community Unit School District 301 last week that stated that school bus service would no longer be offered because they live within 1.5 miles of their school, according to the newspaper. The letter also explained that the district does not receive funding for the bus service and does not provide transportation to those who live in a walk zone, and referred families to www.walkbiketoschool.org to make sure children learn pedestrian safety skills.
District Superintendent Todd Stirn told The Courier-News that Tracie Duffield, the district’s new transportation director, visited all busing areas in the district, assessed them, and filed a report. Stirn added that Duffield sought verification from the state and regional offices on the assessment, and that the district wants to “ensure equitable treatment for all students across the district." The school code does permit reimbursement from the state for busing students less than 1.5 miles when walking constitutes a serious hazard, the newspaper reports.
Parent Patty Joseph told The Courier-News that there are no accommodations made in the area, such as crossing guards, safety patrols, or snow and ice removal, and that some of the sidewalks are not completed, which would cause students to walk in the street to and from school. Meanwhile, parent Erin Komacki said students in the area have received bus service for about 10 years, according to the newspaper. She also said that she recently walked to the school on the route she thought her daughter might use and it took 40 minutes one way.
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