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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. …

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District board approves bus fees, pending court approval

Hoover (Ala.) City Schools' board votes to implement school bus ridership fees for the 2014-15 school year, pending approval by the U.S. District Court. In a memorandum proposing the fees, Superintendent Andy Craig says a fee-based system would help the district “address the financial challenges we are facing.”

5 ways to gain support from school boards

With funding for pupil transportation tight, those providing the service must show board members its value. District and bus company officials share tips that can help in getting this group of individuals to become advocates for the yellow bus, from making yourself visible and available to sharing positive stories about your operation.

Web exclusive: More on gaining support from school boards

In our March 2014 issue, officials at school districts and bus companies offer tips that can help in getting school board members to become advocates for the yellow bus. Here are a few more tips, as well as insight on efforts at operations that have been successful in establishing positive relations with school board members on specific issues.

School district to bring back busing as pilot program

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.

Indiana district gives 3-year notice to end bus service

The Decatur Township school board passes a resolution to notify the Indiana Department of Education that it may terminate transportation services in 2017. Superintendent Matt Prusiecki says that "unfortunately, due to our financial situation, this is a cut we need to consider," but it could be avoided if local voters pass a property tax increase.

Report examines school district mergers

Smaller, financially strapped school districts that can offer greater educational opportunities together are the best candidates for mergers, according to new research by the New York State School Boards Association. But mergers can also present drawbacks, the report says, such as longer bus rides.

New Jersey district embraces new ideas and saves big

Medford Township Public Schools continually seeks out opportunities to grow its sustainability practices, reduce transportation costs and generate revenue, which have been accomplished through such initiatives as a solar project, shared bus service and running vehicles on biodiesel. From the solar project alone, the district has realized savings of $300,000 annually.

Public outcry over decision to end regular-ed bus service

Hoover (Ala.) City Schools holds a forum to address the board of education’s decision to stop the service with the 2014-15 school year, and parents, students and other community members attend and tell school officials that their decision was a mistake. The district’s superintendent says he is still exploring other variations of the plan, such as phasing in the bus cuts over a longer period of time.

Superintendent reprimanded for personal use of bus, driver

Eric Becoats, superintendent of Durham (N.C.) Public Schools, used a school activity bus and driver in June to go to private events and paid an invoice for the cost of the bus and driver. He apologizes and says that he was informed of policies prohibiting personal use of the vehicles after he used the bus.

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