Posted at: 04/01/2013 6:25 PM
Updated at: 04/02/2013 6:22 AM
By: Tim Sherno
Some students who used to ride a bus to middle school and high school in the South Washington County School District 833 will have to walk next year.
As part of a larger budget plan to find $2 million in budget cuts, the school district will trim four buses from its fleet. Mike Vogel, Assistant to the Superintendent for Operations says the move will save the district more than $160,000.
Currently, middle school students living more than a mile from school are able to ride the bus. That distance will expand to 1.5 miles. Similarly, high school students living more than 1.5 miles from school were provided bus transportation, that cut-off now happens 2 miles from school. Vogel says it's not something the district takes lightly, "I think we recognize that it's long distance for kids to have to walk, if budget wasn't a consideration we certainly wish we were able to provide transportation."
Jane Christensen of Woodbury says her child will have to walk next year. She says that concerns her. "I am afraid they might be walking in the streets, and early morning hours, and slippery streets after winter storms. I'm concerned about that safety issue," she said.
Vogel acknowledges parents' safety concerns, "We know the safest way to get to and from school is to ride the school bus. We have to live within the budget constraints that we have."