Bus cuts

By Megan Resler

Starting in September 2009 the Edmonds School District will no longer be providing transportation to students who live within a 1-miles radius of their respective schools. This change, inspired by the $11.5 million worth of reductions the District was forced to make this August, cut $500,000 from the general budget.

Transportation funds are being cut from $7.7 million to $6.3 million, a 18.1 percent decrease; the $500,000 cut from transportation will go to insure cuts don’t impinge inside the classroom.

In order to accommodate families living inside of the radius, ESD has offered numerous alternatives to disgruntled parents. District employees have walked and driven through school zones, and in affect have compiled a map of highlighted suggested and non-suggested walking routes.

“We’ve identified, almost by name, students that we could suggest walking,” said Director of Transportation Craig Christensen. Students who live closer to the one-mile radius than the school might consider walking outside the line to a bus stop going to the school.

Since mid-June 2009, district employees have been working with families via mail and phone survey to ensure every student has a planned alternate mode of transportation. Approximately 3,000 students (2,500 families) are being affected by this adjustment.

ESD has added additional crossing guards to potentially hazardous areas to make students feel safer. Some community members, especially those with elementary level students, have considered forming “human-buses.”