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District threatens to cut busing for Lincoln Village residents
Administrators in the South-Western City School District say transportation costs will take a hit, unless voters approve the 8.3-mill tax levy.
The proposed transportation cuts were discussed at the March 23 board of education meeting. If Issue 15 fails, district leaders said they would have to cut high school busing. The district also plans to expand walk zones at the elementary, intermediate and middle school levels.
Tim Cox, transportation supervisor for SWCS, explained that the state does not require school districts to provide busing for students that live within two miles of the school. The current policy for the district, on the elementary level, is one mile. Cox said that would be broadened.
Under the transportation cuts proposal, approximately 500 middle and intermediate school students would not receive transportation services with the expanded walk zones.
About 800 elementary school students would also be affected. According to the district, there are nearly 5,000 eligible high school bus riders; which does not include those with special needs.
Examples of the changes include:
Buckeye Woods Elementary
Cox estimated that if the levy fails, 99 Buckeye Woods students would become walkers. Administrators would expand the walk zone to include the Quail Creek apartments.
About 64 students at Harmon would lose transportation services. The extended zone includes the boundary north of the school in the October Ridge area. Administrators said they could cut more from that area, but did not feel comfortable asking elementary-aged students to cross Frank Road or Harrisburg Pike.
Darby Woods Elementary
At the elementary level, Darby Woods would see the greatest impact. Approximately 273 students could lose transportation services. The expanded walk zone would incorporate two large apartment complexes on Norton Road, the Winchester housing development and the Hardesty Heights condominiums. Some of the students would have to walk down Norton Road, which administrators said is a concern. There are sidewalks on Norton.
About 47 Hayes students would become walkers. The boundaries would extend to include Holton Run, Claybrook Crossing and Haughn Glen. Cox said Orders Road traffic is a concern.
There are currently four buses that transport students to Norton Middle School. That number would be reduced to one bus under the proposed cuts. Approximately 228 students would have to walk or find another method of transportation. The areas affected would be Lincoln Village North and Lincoln Village South.
Some of the students would have to cross West Broad Street and Rome-Hilliard Road.
Deputy Superintendent Phil Warner explained that these cuts have already been made, but if voters approve the tax levy, the board would reinstate the cut areas.
"Hopefully we can pass Issue 15 and this doesn't have to happen," said Board President Cathy Johnson.
Warner said over the next few weeks, administrators would "refine" the plan. He also said other committees would be recommending their cuts in April.
The deputy superintendent said safety is important to the district, but they have to make cuts.
"We want our kids to get to school and home safely," said Warner. "These services are needed and important, but we cannot afford them."
Nearly 14,000 students ride the bus this school year, though 18,000 are eligible. There are 159 buses on the road each school day, traveling a total of 12,958 miles daily.
The numbers in the proposed transportation cuts are not final.
|On April 7, 2009 Bethany said:
My questioning has been raised! I did not realize the coaches where getting extra pay to coach our kids. How much extra are they receiving?? I did have questions with the band. I had to pay $300 each year for my daughter�s band uniform, but it was always a hand-me-down with frayed seems and we always had to pay thousands of dollars each year for their out-of-town band camp, competitions and/or invitations. The money for the uniforms I never got back, but every year had to give back the uniforms. The flags were new every year, however the material was donated and the sewing was volunteered by the parents. Concession stand, no matter what sport, is always volunteered work by the parents. Where is this money going? Isn�t there a way we as tax payers can have our own accountant, someone here in Grove City, to come in free of charge to see where the money is going?
|On April 6, 2009 Heather said:
I�m also tired of the threats. The South-Western City School District does not need more money. If they do, ask the teachers that coach during the school year to give up their extra pay for coaching. When I was in school, the teachers volunteered to coach because it was about the kids not the extra money in their pockets. Oh, and don�t forget, the parents still end up giving more money for sports, clubs and band on top of the taxes we already pay. Band is the worst, everything is volunteered or donated�where is all that money going???
With the busing part of the issue, I had to walk a mile and a half just to get to my bus stop and this was even during bad weather�our kids could do the same if need be. However, I see the buses picking up the kids and dropping them off at the different schools�a huge bus for maybe 10 kids�what a waste, most of the kids are being dropped off by their parents, getting rides from their friends, walking or riding their bikes.
The administration, well that�s a whole new ball game. Seems there is a secretary for each department including sports, which really there isn�t a need because if you walk into most offices during school hours, they are just sitting there gabbing with one another�our tax dollars hard at work! Guidance counselors, one for each grade�give me a break! I could see maybe one or two at the most. The administration is just too fat for our wallets!
|On April 6, 2009 Jenny said:
Please note that this is the Westchester Subdivision for Darby Woods Elementary not Winchester. The ramifications of us losing busing are huge. There is no way our kids can walk and have you ever seen drop off and pick up. Add another 2 buses full of parents just form our neighborhood, plus all the others affected by this change and it will be a nightmare. I am sure other schools have the same issues.
|On April 2, 2009 Tim said:
Threaten again the last 10 years we have been ask and ask for money for schools my taxes has went up 150% the amount they were when I purchased my home in 1995 the taxes are now higher than the house payment. heres a wy to fixed school money problems fire all workers making over $75,000.00 per year. thats even more than I make and I pay the taxes that pay for there job. I think any person who works for the people and are paid by taxes should not make any more then the adverage amount of the people whom are paying the taxes. that would fix alot of money problems in schools and goverment. STOP THE THREATS! WE THE PEOPLE SHOULD FIRE THE SCHOOL BOARD AND ADMIN. WHY ARE SCHOOLS RUN AS GIVE ME OR ... NOT LIKE A BUSSINESS. bussiness makes money by providing and product or service. so schools have both but not using them. building in the summer could be use for parties even on weekends rent the buildings. terchers if true. would love to help kids or adults to more or better education for a fee. and many moms would be happier if they know their kids in the summer can have fan and learn something new that the normal school time don't have time to teach.. make money by provding full time service. they have the staft and buildings now use them like college due and make money by providing other services.
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