Education Roundup: School district looking to cut transportation funding
Officials from Lake Tahoe Unified School District are considering a plan that would reduce funding for school buses by more than 25 percent.
To avoid cuts in other areas, the school board is trying to close a gap between the $1.2 million it currently spends on transportation funding and the $884,000 it is reimbursed by the state.
“We have to start looking under every rock,” said district CFO Debra Yates.
Because of snow and the spread-out nature of South Lake Tahoe, transportation for students is essential, district officials have repeatedly emphasized.
“It’s not a decision we’ll take light,” said Wendy David, board president. “And it’s not a process we’ll take lightly.”
The board was presented with two new transportation plans, one that would cut $430,000 and another that would cut $330,000, at its May 1 meeting. The cuts would reduce the district’s number of bus drivers, lengthen routes and increase the distance between stops.
Both plans raised concerns from some board members and the public about the length of the routes, the overcrowding of buses, and the distance between stops.
Currently, the district employees 15 bus drivers, who spend a combined 104.25 hours each day driving students to and from school on 15 routes.
The board directed staff to formulate another plan that would ease the potential problems, but save less. It will be presented and voted on at the May 22 board meeting, said Angie Keil, a spokeswoman for the district.
Lake Tahoe Education Foundation will hold a “Celebration of Education” at Lakeland Village on May 16. The event will showcase the many programs that have been funded this year through LTEF grants, which totaled about $50,000.
The celebration will feature members of the South Tahoe High School jazz band and include appetizers and beverages. The event begins at 4:30 p.m. and is open to the public.