Wake County Schools

Parents say bus schedule changes will cost Wake families

Posted March 13, 2012
Updated March 14, 2012

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— Wake County parents renewed their cries of opposition Tuesday to proposed changes in the district's bus schedule, saying the money-saving measure for the school system will end up costing families instead.

Parents have inundated the school system with complaints about the changes, which district leaders say could save as much as $12 million in transportation costs.

Under the proposed changes, more than 100 buses would be taken off the street, students would spend more time on the bus and the number of students on each route would increase.

The move would also change arrival and dismissal times at many schools by as much as an hour. On Tuesday, Superintendent Tony Tata met with parents at Sycamore Creek Elementary School in Raleigh, where bell times will slide back 45 minutes and bus ride times will increase as much as 10 minutes.

Kim Moore said the proposal raises too many questions for her family.

"I do not see how there will be enough buses," she said. "Will teachers provide (before-school) care?"

Donna Brashear said she will have to pay more for before-school childcare if she wants to make it to work on time.

"(We're) digging into our pockets and putting me out of a job," she said.

sycamore creek parents Wake parents strongly oppose bus, bell schedule changes

Of the dozens of parents who turned out Tuesday in opposition to the changes, only Rhonda Curtright said she supports the idea.

"This county needs to start saving money," she said.

The school board put off the controversial measure last week, but is expected to vote at its March 27 meeting.

In the meantime, district leaders have tweaked some aspects of the plan to ease or eliminate the negative impacts on several schools. Tata pledged to take parents' concerns into consideration and to look at ways the district can move programs around to help with before- and after-school care.

"We listen, and I've got some ideas floating around to ask some hard questions of the staff," Tata said.

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  • superman Mar 15, 2012

    Mr. Tata looks good makes a great PR man for the school. He is a very good listener. Also please remember that Mr Tata works for the board. He does not make policy nor can he hire or fire. He can listen 24/7 but the board has the power to change things. His responsibility is to follow orders and carry out the policy as directed by the Board of Education. He is NOT a voting member of the board.

  • superman Mar 15, 2012

    I think Lucas Transporation is probably paid out of Federal Title I Grant money usually for students with "special needs". They are probably not using any state or county money.
    The system didnt get a 30 million federal grant last year and dont forget the 3M the board wasted when they changed the location of a new high school. That would have saved the taxpayers 33M. The system receives well in excess of 100m in federal grants.

  • westernwake1 Mar 14, 2012

    "Saving money is great. How much are we paying Lucas Transportation to drive those huge Ford Expeditions around town? I'm sure it's not cheap and I rarely see more than one or two kids per vehicle. Almost 50% of my taxes goes to the school system. Get rid of your private transportation contracts and you might find some extra money." - CodeBlueEMT

    Is using Lucas Transportation as a contractor cheaper than Wake County buying all the little busses, hiring drivers, and buying gas for the these vehicles directly to transport children with special needs?

  • beaupeep Mar 14, 2012

    codeblue. we could give most of them a taxi ride each way cheaper.

  • justincaseur2 Mar 14, 2012

    See, if we make parents responsible for paying, methinks things would change. "We the people" should not have to pay for excess and waste out of our taxes. In fact if we made education like toll roads it would sort itself out in no time.

    Let those who use the system foot the bill and unnecessary bussing would go away, unnecessary splitting up of neighborhoods would stop, unnecessary programs would begin to disappear, money would be saved, and parents would once again get involved in the lives of their children.

    It would be a win win all around.

  • Mar 14, 2012

    Saving money is great. How much are we paying Lucas Transportation to drive those huge Ford Expeditions around town? I'm sure it's not cheap and I rarely see more than one or two kids per vehicle. Almost 50% of my taxes goes to the school system. Get rid of your private transportation contracts and you might find some extra money.

  • OpenM1nd Mar 14, 2012

    No matter what they do, there will always be protest and opposition. I give Mr. Tata credit for his courage to do something to at least improve conditions for the vast majority, and to be flexible enough to listen to those having issues at the same time.

  • Ex-Republican Mar 14, 2012

    This idea makes the prospect of private school or home schooling more financially feasible. If you're going to shell out a bunch of money, you might as well get something back for it.

  • justincaseur2 Mar 14, 2012

    Bus stops are way too close. I was behind a bus that stopped at one house, dropped a single kid off, stopped two houses down to drop another kid off, stopped about 200 feet from that at an intersection to drop several students off.

    Come on now.

    The bussing system in Wake county doesn't just need a major overhaul, it (along with school assignments) needs to be gutted and we need to start from scratch with mandatory assignment neighborhood schools (unless parents want to foot the bill themselves to send their children to private schools)and adherence to minimum distance rules for bus stops.

    Heck, why stop there. It should also be policy that students living within a mile radius of the school which they are attending don't get bussed.

    And -> how do I get elected to the board so I can bring some sanity back to this place???

  • STRAWBERRY LETTER 23 Mar 14, 2012

    THANKS, Nancy!! :-)

    Beth

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