Parents in the Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District react with dismay to cutbacks in school bus service.
“I implore you, please reconsider these routes,” said parent Rachel Gerhardt. “Some are hazardous. My main concern is that my child gets to and from school safely. I don’t want to just hope. I want to know they got there safely.”
Cy-Fair said the state does pay for the buses to continue along routes the state considers dangerous — and they need that money.
“This is a service which we (had) offered for several decades,” said Kelli Durham, an assistant superintended with the Cy-Fair ISD.
“This is a valuable service; however, when you are forced to cut $14.2 million in this year’s budget — we cut $27 million from last year’s budget and $15 million from the prior years due to a lack of state funding.”
The state will continue to cover transportation costs on what are considered dangerous routes, but budget constraints lead to other cuts.
According to school board officials, the board had to make up a budget deficit of more than $14 million because the public wanted services cut instead of losing the 20 percent homestead exemption on property taxes.
I wonder about that. Is it really the case that public sentiment favored keeping that tax cut at all costs, or was it just a sufficiently vocal and motivated minority, plus an easily-cowed board of trustees, that led to this? If it is the latter, that will serve as an object lesson in the importance of organization and paying attention. And, hopefully, the impetus for some candidates who’ll do a better job of doing what the majority wants, not just the sufficiently vocal, to run in the next election.
“(We) respectfully request reinstating bus service or offering an alternative such as bus service for a fee,” said parent Julie Long.
Long said her two elementary-age sons attend Adam Elementary, which is more than a mile from their home.
“Less than 25 percent of the route offers sidewalks,” Long said. “The entire portion between Fallbrook and our neighborhood is pretty dangerous. It’s a two-lane, winding road with no sidewalks whatsoever.”
I note this since the question of sidewalks came up in that previous post. More than a mile is a pretty long distance for an elemetary school student to walk, and without sidewalks, it really is dangerous. Too bad that wasn’t taken into account before.