Stephane Babcock for School Transportation News
Thursday, 02 September 2010 09:20 -- State budget cuts have trickled down to the Los Angeles Unified School District’s transportation department, and students will be feeling the pinch when school doors open this month as more school bus routes will be eliminated.
As a direct result of state funding reductions to the district that were approved by the state legislature for this school year, LAUSD Transportation Director Enrique Boull’t is experiencing a $9 million cut to his annual budget.
“It’s unfortunate that school districts are having to reduce or eliminate bus service for families that may not have another way of getting their children to school,” said Boull’t.
Approximately 50,000 students will be affected by the cuts, with bus service being eliminated for five schools in the district, including Lane Elementary School, Westchester High School and Palms, Revere and Wright middle schools. Other students will have to walk farther to alternate bus stops.
“We need all of our parents to contact their state representatives to tell them to stop balancing the state’s budget shortfall on the backs of schools and restore funding so that all students can have the resources necessary for a proper education,” stressed Boull’t.
Fortunately, the recent addition of 260 CNG school buses, which might have raised a few eyebrows in light of the budget cuts, was purchased with funds meant specifically for bus replacement that were approved by voters in combination with a $44 million grant, something Boull’t said he believes the district needs to remain vocal about.
“I think it’s important that we communicate that the bus purchase is not taking away funds that could be used for instruction or to reduce the employee cuts. Also, the benefits of replacing 30-plus-year-old diesel buses with new environmentally friendly buses, equipped with all of the latest safety features, will have a long term benefit to the health of the students and community we serve,” added Boull’t.
Meanwhile, school districts across California and the nation continue to eliminate or further cut transportation services. Staten Island in New York is cutting bus service to thousands of students after the state Supreme Court lifted a temporary restraining order that forced the Department of Education to keep providing bus service to thousands of seventh and eighth graders.
Daily Breeze – 1 September
Westchester High School will lose bus service as part of Los Angeles Unified School District's efforts to save money. The district announced plans Wednesday ...
89.3 KPCC – 1 September
A student walks past a Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) school bus in Los Angeles, California on February 13, 2009. More than 50000 LA Unified ...