Madison-Plains goes back to single-tier busing

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(Posted July 19, 2017)

By Sandi Latimer, Staff Writer

The Madison-Plains Local School District is reversing its plans for busing for the upcoming school year.

Instead of moving to a two-tier system as approved last fall, the district is sticking with its current single-tier system. The board reversed its decision at a special meeting on July 12.

Results of the recently passed two-year state budget prompted the reversal. Two things happened. One, Madison-Plains is now considered a “guarantee” district by the state, which means the district will receive no more and no less state funding than they did previously. Two, the state is significantly reducing its reimbursement for transportation for all school districts.

Originally, Madison-Plains would have received $756,595 over two years using the two-tier system and opting for per-mile reimbursement. With the transportation funding change, the two-tier system would instead cost the district $385,000 over those two years, said Superintendent Tim Dettwiller. It only made sense to go back to single-tier bussing since its funding is guaranteed, he said.

With single-tier bussing, all students arrive on campus in time to start classes at 7:45 a.m. Classes let out at 2:50 p.m.

Under the two-tier plan, students in grade 7 through 12 would have been picked up first, then the buses would have made a second run to pick up students in kindergarten through sixth grade.

In conjunction with the two-tier plan, the district had organized a latchkey program for students whose parents had to leave home for work before the children were picked up or who had to work later than school let out. The program was scrapped due to low interest.

“We needed 25 to enroll, and we only had 16,” Dettwiller said.

Bus routes will be announced in early August.

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