Thursday, December 30, 2010

SF Examiner: School bus service slashed in cost-saving move

From the SF Examiner:
Thousands of schoolchildren will have to find a new way to travel to school next year after the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education voted to cut bus service by more than 50 percent.

The cuts — which affect roughly 3,300 general-education children in elementary and middle school grades — will be phased in over the next three years and could save the district roughly $1.9 million annually.

It costs the district $100,000 annually to run each yellow bus.
Read the full story


  1. The issues over shool assignment and transportation have been discussed. I will rehash a few main points, from my perspective.

    1. The school district is broke and should spend money on staff, not gas.

    2. The 0/7's in the old assignment system were getting assignments into schools in the Bayview/Hunter's Point, which were very far away and which had very low academic achievment scores. Giving complete choice to parents ended up with the worst choice for some parents (the 0/7's). Maybe reducing complete choice could avoid the worst choice for some parents. Hence change the choice system to something else.

    3. That something else should be along the lines of a neighborhood school system.

    4. Address the underachievement of African-Americans and Hispanic students with a policy in favor of diversity in the student body. There will not be an absolute neighborhood school system, just as there will not be an absolute city-wide choice system. We ended up with CTIP, fewer bus services, and a delayed proposal for feeder patterns into middle school.

  2. Yes, the first of 2 motivations for the new SAS is finally revealed. (The second reason was, of course, placating outspoken Westside residents who typically vote in BOE elections). As with the SAS, the losers are, of course, Eastside residents, with the possible exception of the few living in CTIP1 areas who don't require bus transportation.

  3. 9:27 is obviously the troll again, intent upon ruining ani0ther thread.

  4. School assignment is like playing the card game of "Old Maid." No one wants the Old Maid card, which represents the school that is both very far away and very low in test scores (most commonly, the school in the Bayview/Hunter's Point). By moving towards a neighborhood school system, westside parents will never get the Old Maid card of an assignment into the Bayview/Hunter's Point.

    In the new SAS, the Old Msid card stays on the eastside. And even if eastside parents do not get assigned to a school in the Bayview/Hunter's Point, the residents of the Bayview/Hunter's Point will probably continue to stay on the eastside instead of travelling all the way to the westside.

    It is a recipe for closing schools in the Bayview/Hunter's Point as residents there choose other schools in the greater eastside. And closing schools means saving money. How can we ask the unions to make concessions unless we look like we are bleeding finacially?

  5. Ignore the trolls.

  6. What trolls? IMO people are just stating their opinions, which tend to vary based on the side of SF where they reside.

  7. People who ride MUNI every day are very concerned about the impact this will have on their commutes. I don't blame them and I wonder if MUNI has even been considered.

  8. Like I said, ignore the trolls.

  9. People in the SE mostly choose schools in the area. With less transportation they are only more likely to do so. This will increase enrollment in the SE not decrease it.There are definitely a few smaller schools that are not cost effective, but the savings they would generate are relatively small.
    Every community should have access to a well run, professionally staffed community school.

  10. The schools need to pay teachers and other staff in real money, like any other business. The school district needs to protect its bond rating with fiscal responsibility. Providing good schools for every community has to compete with the cold harsh realities of not enough money.

    So transportation gets cut and dumped onto MUNI. So city-wide choice in schools gets cut in favor of a local school policy. Follow the money.

  11. "People in the SE mostly choose schools in the area"

    What nonsense. 70% of people in Bayview/Hunters Point chose schools 5 miles or more out of their area.

  12. This new policy is already impacting schools now. There are no school buses for any field trips!

  13. "What nonsense. 70% of people in Bayview/Hunters Point chose schools 5 miles or more out of their area."

    My guess is that many of them have cars too.

  14. "What nonsense. 70% of people in Bayview/Hunters Point chose schools 5 miles or more out of their area."

    Just go to the assignment system page on the SFUSD portal and look at the attendance matrix to see that this "correction" is incorrect. While it is true that 70% of BVHP students attend schools outside their zone, (which BTW doesn't have enough seats for all the resident students) the majority are in schools well within 5 miles from home.

    Regarding the larger issue, I don't understand why SFUSD put so much cache in providing opportunity to low income students for attending schools outside their assignments areas, when the district doesn't offer a means for getting there. The idea that they can't afford it is a red herring. They have hired new staff downtown that costs far more than the cost savings of bus reduction and all the while many schools are taking deep cuts.

    And if you've been keeping up on the education budget, though we were told by the District that things would improve after the last 2 years, it is looking as if the next 2 years will be even worse. That also didn't stop SFUSD from hiring teachers for low API schools whose job it is to oversee other teachers to make sure they follow the curriculum. I though that was the District's job. Apparently there is still plenty of fat.

  15. Another Examiner article today about the cuts in busing. The school district owes an apology to every parent who has had the floor pulled out from under her.

    Just say you are sorry. Just acknowledge that you are forcing many students to transfer to a school that they can get to without the yellow buses. Admit that you are regrettably causing a great deal of hardships.