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Sad News in Poway Unified School District- NO MORE SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION

Monday, January 29, 2018   /   by Sean Zanganeh

Sad News in Poway Unified School District- NO MORE SCHOOL BUS TRANSPORTATION

Nationally Acclaimed... Top API Scores... Good Education... No School Bus System???

Yes, that is right. Poway Unified School District just agreed to eliminate the bus service for students...

Take a Look at the article from North County Times Explaining the whole thing!

"The Poway Unified School District school board on Monday unanimously approved the elimination of bus service for regular education students, expressing regret over the move but saying it was the fiscally responsible thing to do.

The decision, which despite the pleas of parents and bus drivers who said it would create a hardship for many families, goes into affect with the 2010-2011 school year.

The cut will force about 3,300 of the district's 33,000 students, or about 10 percent, to find other ways to get to and from school.

Special education students will be unaffected.

Buses paid for by booster clubs also will continue to be available for field trips and sporting events.

There is a chance that bus service will be restored before students return to class after their summer break ends in late August, under an alternative proposal that the board approved with the same vote.

That option would restore bus service but increase annual rider fees from the current $439 to $575.

At least 85 percent of the number of families using the bus service now would have to sign up for it again, however ---- and they must do so by Aug. 6.

Board President Todd Gutschow said the board did not want to cut bus service but had to prioritize in economically tough times.

"We simply do not have the money to keep it going," he said.

Board member Jeff Mangum it was a matter of getting back to basics.

"The reality is that our core responsibility is not to get kids to school," he said. "Our core responsibility is to educate them once they get there."

The elimination of regular education bus service is one of several cuts the board has considered in recent months as it tries to address a projected $24 million gap in its $235 million budget for the upcoming school year, which starts July 1.

Poway Unified faced a similar dilemma last year, when the board adopted a $251 million budget for the current year.

The figure included $245 million in revenue, leaving a $6 million deficit.

The district used reserve funds and one-time federal stimulus money to bridge the gap.

In the 2008-09 school year, the district's budget was $259 million, with $257 million in revenue.

Poway Unified used reserve funds to cover that deficit.

District officials have blamed the problem on repeated cuts in the amount of money the state provides to its public schools.

Monday's board decision is expected to save the district about $750,000 a year.

Up to 35 of the district's 126 bus drivers and five support staff members will lose their jobs if that happens, though.

In April, the drivers launched an informational campaign that focused on student safety and included the distribution of fliers at stores and major intersections within the district.

The campaign apparently hit its mark.

During the board meeting, Deputy Superintendent John Collins said district officials came up with the alternative option in response to parents' pleas for bus service to be continued.

"We heard from a lot of parents who said, 'We really need this, and we're willing to pay whatever it takes to keep it going,'" he said.

Several parents and some of the district's bus drivers told the board the same thing Monday, saying many children would have a hard time getting to school without bus service.

One parent who raised the student safety issue made reference to the murders of Poway High School student Chelsea King in February and Escondido High School student Amber Dubois last year.

John Albert Gardner III pleaded guilty to raping and killing the two teens and to assaulting and trying to rape a young woman; he was sentenced last week to three consecutive life terms in prison.

"There are too many predators out there watching for opportunities," said the parent.

Chuck Lord, president of Service Employees International Union Local 2, which represents the drivers involved, thanked the board "for at least trying to save" regular education bus service.

Now it is up to parents who use the service to find the money they will need to keep it going, Lord said, describing the increased fee as "cheap insurance."

Collins said it was difficult to gauge whether enough parents will sign up for it by the deadline.

"If I were a parent looking at this, I would be looking at all of my options and trying to figure out an alternative way of getting my kids to school," Collins said."

Check out the whole article here

How do you feel about this? Is it fair? Will you be able to come up with the extra cost to send your children to school??

Sean Zanganeh

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Sean Zanganeh
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