Wake County Schools

Wake schools soliciting feedback on proposed busing changes

Posted February 9, 2012 6:14 p.m. EST
Updated February 9, 2012 6:41 p.m. EST

— Wake County parents can give their feedback on a proposal that school district administrators say would take more than 100 school buses off the street and cut costs by an estimated $10 million.

The Wake County Public School System posted a survey on its website Thursday to gather public comment on the changes for the 2012-13 school year.

Parents can review what's planned for their assigned schools and offer their feedback until Feb. 16.

The school board is expected to revisit the plans at its Feb. 21 meeting. Changes to next year's bell schedule must be in place by the end of March.

Administrators say the proposed changes would increase efficiency and accommodate growth while reducing the bus fleet by 112 buses, saving approximately $6 million. The move also would restore school transportation efficiency to 99 percent, preserving $4 million in state revenue.

The district would cut back on the number of tiered bus routes, lengthen bus runs and increase the number of students on each run.

Broughton High School in Raleigh, for example, would start 40 minutes earlier; Holly Springs Elementary School would dismiss students nearly an hour later, around 4 p.m.

Board of Education Chairman Kevin Hill said Tuesday that, although the changes might seem drastic, they could allow the district to do more with less in tough budget times.

"If there is an opportunity to align bell schedules with more effective study by high school kids and elementary schools and save $10 million – I mean, it's a tight economy," he said.