Wake County Schools

Board reinstates Wake's after-school busing

Posted August 30, 2010

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— Wake County middle- and high-school students who stay after school for sports practices, band, clubs or other activities can stop scrounging for a way to get home, which is what they had to do until a school board vote Monday restored transportation for after-school activities.

The school board unanimously voted at a special meeting to put $685,000 back into in its already-approved 2010-11 budget for school buses to take students home.

The district budget, apparently in a section that school board members had overlooked, had chopped about $950,000 from the after-school and mid-day extra bus runs.

Monday's vote leaves the mid-day runs out of the picture, finance chief David Neter said, but after-school use will be back.

The board decided to use $185,000 from an expected $27 million in federal job aid for schools and pinned the rest of the action on the hope that a continuation of lower-than-expected fuel costs generates the other $500,000.

Some regular district bus drivers, who normally work a six-hour day, will be assigned to work up to two added hours at straight time, for the extra runs.

The vote repairs what Chairman Ron Margiotta called a "mess-up" by the board in shaping the $1.4 billion budget for the current year.

"We messed up by not recognizing" the change, Margiotta said.

The yellow buses for after-school activities are different from the white or other-colored activity buses that take sports teams to away games or students on field trips, Neter and facilities chief Don Haydon told the board.

School principals control those buses through each school's budget.

Board reinstates Wake's after-school busing Board reinstates Wake's after-school busing

Neter warned that the staff might come back to the board later in the year if fuel savings fall apart. On the positive side, he noted that while the federal aid is intended for the 2010-11 school year, the law that took effect Aug. 10 does permit carrying over money into the 2011-12 year if funds are left.

The board's earlier cut was part of $20 million in budget reductions, but the move caused problems for parents who relied on the service to get their students home once after-school activities are over.

Martin Middle School Principal Wade Martin said the lack of service has hit the school’s low-income families the most.

“We have students who would not be able to participate in fall sports,” Martin said. “We have already heard from some parents the difficulty in providing that transportation everyday after practice.”

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  • wildcat Aug 31, 2010

    All about the PARENTS and not the CHILDREN!

  • kikinc Aug 31, 2010

    Justin T.-My school had activity buses, that I used b/c I had 2 working parents and 4 of us kids in sports and extra-curriculars. I know survival skills...2 undergrad degrees and a graduate degree bought and paid for myself, while working full time. My job is much higher than minimum wage. I think I survived just fine by being deprived of my "survival skills."

  • chevybelair57sd Aug 31, 2010

    again our perspective on necessary services is skewed, when I participated in after school exercises, either I walked or friends took me home. Another plus for neighborhood schools. The liberal point of view is unsustainable in this economy!!

  • Justin T. Aug 31, 2010

    "students who stay after school for sports practices, band, clubs or other activities can stop scrounging for a way to get home"

    This "scrounging" that the article refers to is called survival. You will have to do this throughout your life so why deny kids the necessary skills to survive? WCPSS... what happens when these kids graduate and the ba ba is pulled from their tender lips? Its just sad. I guess this is how social engineers get kids used to the public transportation concept. On the bright side... the city bus they'll be riding to their minimum wage job will be more colorful... watch out though, the red stop signs don't automatically pop out (yet) so YOU MUST LOOK BOTH WAYS BEFORE CROSSING THE STREET. BE CAREFUL, I DON'T KNOW IF WCPSS HAS SPECIFICALLY HANDLED THIS BASIC ASPECT OF LIFE FOR FUTURE CITIZENS.

  • wildcat Aug 31, 2010

    Its not really safe for any student to walk the street to school and back each day. This can be dangerous. You have heard the stories yourself.

  • TAKES_TO2_TANGO Aug 31, 2010

    Stop wasting our tax dollars to support YOUR kids!!! If you cannot support them then then do not have them!!!

  • superman Aug 31, 2010

    Just how many students will live within walking distance of a "neighborhood school" How many parents are going to allow their children to walk to and from school? If parents went to the trouble they could probably find other parents, friends or neighbors to help take their children to after school activities. But then it is just easier for the taypayers to fund their transportation.

  • wildcat Aug 31, 2010

    I saw that it was a great problem with diversity busing but NEVER a problem with busing after school students when school is closed.

  • TooMuchDrama Aug 31, 2010

    Couple thoughts. How many teachers could this have employeed or retained? How many books and computers could this money have provided? Note also that Mecklenburg County Schools just voted to strip over $1 million from atheletics and students who want to play must pay $50 in middle school and $100 in high school to cover costs no longer funded by budget. "Pay to Play" you can say. So Wake County, do not complain that classes are over crowded, that there are not enough teachers, or that there are not adequate supplies (books and computers) to teach. A choice has been made on where to spend money.

  • superman Aug 31, 2010

    This school board is all about pleasing the parents-- no regard as to money or how it is to be used. They threw away 3 million when they decided against the location of the a new high school. Anything for the parents-- cause they know they vote. It is not my financial responsiblity to give the students a ride home after sports practice.

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