Nearly 4,000 Reno kids may lose their bus routes next year
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Several thousand northern Nevada middle and elementary school students will have to walk to school or find another way to get there because of Washoe County School District budget cuts.
Potentially 3,787 students will have to find their own way to school next year, as the district is expanding walk zones for elementary and middle schools by a quarter-mile, according to a school district analysis. The cut is expected to save the school district $550,000 and eliminate eight to 10 bus drivers, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported .
The number of students actually affected by the change is expected to be lower since about 68.5 percent of elementary students and 80 percent of middle school students eligible for bus transportation actually ride the bus, according to the analysis.
Of the 3,787 students losing their bus route, roughly 2,717 of them currently ride the bus.
If given final approval, the walk zone for elementary school students will increase from a mile to 1.25 miles and the zone for middle school students will increase from 2 miles to 2.25 miles.
Cuts won’t be made final until the school board gives final approval to the budget and its associated cuts, which is expected to happen at the end of May.
John Mayer, school board trustee, raised concerns that the expansion of the walk zones will force young kids to cross major thoroughfares.
“I just think for a half-a-million-dollar savings, that you’re going to put kids in danger,” he said.
Director of Transportation Rick Martin told the school board his department will not allow the new walk zones to put any kids in danger.
Information from: Reno Gazette-Journal, http://www.rgj.com