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School District Buses Boy Across Town - Alone With AM-Out of Paper, Bjt

May 27, 1991

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) _ On his way to school each day, 11-year-old Anthony Vincent can have his pick of any of the 72 seats on the bus.

He’s the only student on board.

With five weeks left in the school year, Anthony had to change schools when he and his father, Ron Vincent, moved from South San Jose to Santa Clara.

Vincent figured there would be no problem - Montague Elementary is right around the corner. ″I am so close to Montague school I can spit on it,″ he said.

But that school was full, so Santa Clara Unified School District decided to bus Anthony to C.W. Haman Elementary - four miles across town. And he’s the only one on the bus.

″On the first day, it was kind of weird because I asked the bus driver if she was going to pick up any more kids. She said no,″ Anthony said.

His father also thinks it’s weird, given the state’s current budget crisis and the letters he’s received from the school district asking parents to send their children to school with their own pencils and paper.

″They can’t provide pencils and paper, but they can provide a $200,000 bus to take him to school by himself?″ Ron Vincent said.

Linda Ferriera, transportation manager for the district, said the only costs of busing Anthony are gas and maintenance on the bus, but those amounts weren’t available Monday. She said the district has about 160 overloads - students unable to get into the school nearest their homes.

Vincent is losing patience.

Among other things, his son is late to school every day - ″but that’s OK because nothing happens in the morning anyway,″ Anthony said.

And if he misses the bus - like he did last week when a teacher kept the class late - he has no way to get home unless his father leaves work to pick him up.

″I’m a single dad, and we’re on our own here,″ Vincent said. ″Every time I punch out - that’s an hour. When you are living paycheck to paycheck, that’s a lot of money.″

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