Friday, March 14, 2008

Transportation Costs

A thread got started elsewhere on transportation costs because there seems to be a lot of unknowns about them. I had access to numbers when I was on the Closure and Consolidation committee and I'll try to go find them (down in the garage...in a box...somewhere).

However, I did find a few things of interest. (I am putting dates in bold so that you will note that none of this information - even if still valid - came from a present-day source.)

This is an article that appeared in the Seattle Times written in 2004 that gives some background but I don't know if these numbers are still valid (they likely are since not much as changed in transportation/assignment except that a couple of alternatives were made regional instead of all-city draws).

An article from the PI dated 2006 about transportation costs.

A pdf by district staff from student assignment discussions in 2005. This one is interesting because it has a chart showing alternative school assignments (but doesn't say what would/could happen if you wanted a different alternative):

AAA -Central/South
AS 1 - NW, NE, QA/Mag
AE 2 - NE
Orca - Central and South
Pathfinder - SW
Salmon Bay - NW, QA/Magnolia
TOPS - Central

Now the chart says that these are alternative K-8s but I don't think AE 2 is K-8. (They don't mention Summit either but that could be because it is an all-city draw or because they want to get rid of it - staff suggested this before.)

I think, as a post mentioned before, that the district needs to get its terms straight. How do they classify a school alternative versus non-traditional versus neighborhood (but seemingly non-traditional a la John Stanford or New School) versus Safety Net? I agree that maybe magnet might be a great term to use.

If we have to wait longer for a new assignment plan, then the district has the opportunity to suss out these kinds of things and ASK parents what they want.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

AEII is not a k-8, it also draws from two clusters, North and North East

maureen said...

The chart Melissa posted was from a 2005 proposal to limit access to alternative schools so that each cluster would only have reference to one or two alternatives. The Alternative Committee was, I believe, in part a response to this proposal. Their concluding report pointed out in strong language that alternative schools are not interchangeable and that it is not good enough to have access to only one or two.

Beth Bakeman said...

And Pathfinder K-8 only gets transportation in West Seattle.

It's a misconception that all alternative schools are all-city draws and get all-city transportation.

Beth Bakeman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
maureen said...

I guess I'm the only person in Seattle who is interested in this issue! I'll give it one more try and then be quiet for a while.

I would like to see transportation costs broken down by building and program. The best data I have seen is from the 2005 Seattle Times article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com
/news/education/links/2005profile/


Many schools house programs that bear large transportation costs (physically disabled at Green Lake, homeless at BFDay...) Those costs will remain even if choice does not. Those costs are also subsidized in a different way than regular ed transport.

Using info from the 2004 ST article Melissa posted, by my calculation:
Forty-four percent of SPS kids were bused, forty percent of THEM because of choice. So, sixty percent of the kids transported HAD to be bused for one reason or another. That means 26% of SPS kids had to be bused even with no choice. Is this still true or has something changed? What does this imply for attempts to reduce transportation costs?

Many schools and programs share buses, how does that affect costs? If choice is reduced, will the same buses travel the same streets carrying fewer kids? I would like to believe that real data analysis is behind the perception that choice is expensive, but I can't find any evidence to support that.

Of course, the money cost doesn't reflect the environmental or time costs, those should be acknowledged as well.

dan dempsey said...

Speaking of transportation costs the legislature in 2007 was going to make adjustments in the 2008 session to fully fund student transportation especially with rising fuel costs.

Short legislative memory no action on this in the 2008 session.