Monday, May 9, 2011
More than 17,000 San Diego public school students ride district school buses every day. Board members will consider plans that could end busing for more than half of those students.
SAN DIEGO San Diego Unified Board of Education members voted earlier this year to cut transportation for more than 4,000 students. Those cuts are expected to save the district $7.8 million next year. Tuesday, the trustees will consider plans that would eliminate busing for about 6,000 more students.
The most dramatic cuts would save the district $3.1 million for the 2011-2012 school year. Under that plan the district would only continue transportation mandated by the federal government. That includes busing for special education students and kids whose schools are considered failing under No Child Left Behind.
District staff estimate 11 schools in the city will be over capacity next year if all students that rely on non-mandatory busing return to their neighborhood schools. Enrollment at another 36 schools would drop below 60 percent of those campuses’ capacities.
San Diego Unified has already cut about $115 million from its proposed 2011-2012 budget. Staff are working on alternate budgets that would cut up to $55 million more to prepare for the possibility of state legislators cutting K-12 education funding to close California's remaining $15 billion budget gap.