Saturday, January 8, 2011

SFGate: S.F. school board bracing for outcry over bus cuts

This from SFGate:

The big yellow school bus is becoming an increasingly rare sight on California's roadways, sidelined to save money in an era of unprecedented education budget cuts.

San Francisco is among the most recent districts to cut busing, following Vallejo, Oceanside, San Diego, Fullerton, Capistrano and Cucamonga, to name a few, where officials have slashed or eliminated busing for students who are not disabled.

Here, the district has relied on the yellow buses to transport thousands of children across the city each day, accommodating a student assignment system that prioritized diversity rather than proximity to sites.


  1. My guess is while outspoken parents at places like Rooftop will maintain their after-school buses, SE parents will be generally screwed (as usual).

  2. I recall from one of the newspaper stories that the cuts are being phased in, that this first year of cuts is minor compared to what is planned for the second year. The only buses for non-special ed students will be routes to help CTIP1 get out to other areas. There is also that feeder pattern for two elementary schools in the BV/HP to feed into a middle school clear across town.

  3. The busing issue is a red herring. This is a relatively minor expense within the half billion dollar budget. If Garcia would stop the lavish new hiring (7 new executive directors and support staff hired secretly last summer) and curtail all the central office travel expenses, they'd have more than enough for busing, not that I'm in favor of it. But what a bunch of hypocrites. All they talk about is equity and diversity, (you have to wonder sometimes if they ever consider student achievement), yet when it comes to providing access to schools, they cut the transportation that is needed to get some students to their destinations.

  4. Don, Don , Don, are you for busing or against it?

  5. Why even bother asking? Who cares?

  6. He's just trying to change the subject and make it all about him, as usual. Ignore it.

  7. Fed-up SE residentJanuary 9, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    I agree with Don on this one. Based on what I read, the limited busing for CTIP1 students will not provide them with a wide variety of alternatives beyond their typically low-performing neighborhood school, just the closest immersion and K-8 option. And it really makes my blood boil to hear that busing could be preserved if central office spending weren't so wasteful.

  8. Busing is a straw man. The district wants to say that they can't afford it in order to rationalize the shift closer to neighborhood placement. They want you to think that they have their hands tied. That isn't the case.

    They are using the transportation money to fund the Superintendent Zones in an effort to strengthen schools in the SE. I wish they would come out and just say so.

    With $.5B budget it is easy to shift money here and there and it is extremely difficult to "follow the money". I've tried. That's why I'm in the process of doing a public records request. They are required by law to hold public hearings before not after they cut and run with Tier III flexible funding.

    To answer someone's question, I'm not for busing in the general sense, but unless there is equitable instructional programming you have to provide access. It is horribly unfair otherwise.

  9. They already cut most of the bus routes a few years ago, what will be left?

  10. The biggest busing expenses largely come from sp. ed. buses. These buses transport 2-5 kids at a time all over the city. I'm not saying these should be cut, but that is a huge part of the transportation budget.

  11. More lies from the sock puppet troll. Most of the transportation expense is for general education busing, and federal funds are supplied for SPED busing.

  12. I've watched a regular school bus go by our house (it stops across the street) for several years. It is almost always nearly empty. This was one of the buses making regular stops for the schools in my neck of the woods (Western Addition.) We don't even use it though it goes to my kids' school because the timing is so erratic (it comes much earlier than it's scheduled and departs almost immediately -- because no one is using it.)

  13. Federal transportation dollars don't come close to paying for the mandate of school choice for Program Improvement, which is the only money provided by the DOE. It is not provided for district diversity policies.

    The majority of home-to-school and sped busing comes through state categorical funds. What's her name seems to know nothing at all about these issues and that is fine since who does? But don't put other people down and pretend they are wrong and you're right when you're not.

    It is a sad and embarrassing spectacle to see someone so consumed by hatred.

    5:09, districts cannot cut sped busing, period. They can look to lower costs and so forth, but not cut. It is protected by law and watched by many interest groups for adequate compliance.

  14. why not charge for busing? If you selected a school because there was a bus link to a after school program you should fell angry if the district does not offer to allow you to pay for the service but just ends it.

    From CDE website

    The governing board of any school district that provides for the transportation of pupils to and from school, in accordance with California Education Code (EC) Section 39807.5, may require parents and guardians to pay a portion of the transportation costs with two exceptions as discussed below. Fee amounts are determined by the governing board and “shall be no greater than the statewide average non-subsidized cost of providing this transportation to a pupil on a publicly owned or operated transit system.” For the purpose of this section, “non-subsidized cost” means actual operating costs less federal subsidies.
    Maximum Rates

    The State Superintendent of Public Instruction, in cooperation with the Department of Transportation, is required to determine the maximum amount of fees that parents or guardians may be charged for pupil transportation (EC Section 39807.5). The maximum rates apply to pupil transportation for regular day students, and students in regular full-time occupational training classes as provided by a regional occupational center or program.

    The maximum allowable rates below are expressed on a "cost per passenger trip" basis. The daily round trip pupil transportation cost is twice the cost per passenger trip rate.

    Cost per passenger trip: $4.18
    Daily round trip cost: $8.36

    State law requires district governing boards to exempt certain pupils from any transportation fee, specifically:

    1) Individuals with exceptional needs whose individualized education program requires the local educational agency to provide transportation services, and

    2) Pupils whose parents or guardians are indigent.

  16. DK-

    your point is "Yes we can"

  17. taxis would cost less