Local News

Wake school board approves alternate bus routing plan

Posted March 27, 2012 9:40 a.m. EDT
Updated March 28, 2012 6:21 a.m. EDT

School Bus

— During a work session Tuesday afternoon, Wake County Public School System staff offered to the school board an alternate bus routing proposal that would affect fewer schools' bell schedules but save the district less money.

Compared with the original proposal, the new plan would take 79 buses, instead of 112, off the road, and 33, instead of 39, schools would have a schedule change by at least 30 minutes.

It would save the school system approximately $4.8 million, instead of $6 million, for the 2012-13 school year.

The school board approved the busing plan at its board meeting Tuesday evening.

The original proposal was estimated to save about $12 million in coming years and increase efficiency and improve service.

Many parents have said that the plan would save the school district money but cost them. The changes in school start times that conflict with work schedules could mean that parents have to pay more for childcare, they have said.

Among other concerns, they also worry that students will be on buses for longer periods of time or that there won't be enough buses to fully service all of the schools.

The alternate proposal took into account feedback from more than 1,000 parents, Superintendent Tony Tata said.

"We made adjustments, where possible, and we came up with a good compromise solution that will still save money, while helping better accommodate the schedules of our families," Tata said.

Under the new plan, 125 of the district's 169 schools would not be affected. Twenty schools would have bell changes of less than 40 minutes. Twenty-three schools' schedules would by 41-50 minutes, and one school – North Garner Middle School – would be affected by 50 or more minutes.

The proposed bell schedule changes would be the first major overhaul for the school system since 1994.