The reason given is the huge outcry of unhappiness from parents including the 2,000 signatures to the petition.
Parent power. It's a good thing.
Partial from SPS press release:
This spring we worked to develop a balanced budget for the 2012-13 school year, with a goal of keeping budget cuts away from the classroom. To that end, the School Board requested an analysis of options that could generate more savings from transportation. We re-structured the Transportation Office and asked staff to both continue researching the adopted standards and also to research new cost-saving options for Board review. That research resulted in proposed modified standards for 2012-13, which were introduced to the School Board on May 2. The timeline for this research was very short, and community engagement is occurring during the two weeks between introduction and the Board taking action. We have received numerous comments about this plan, and have used the feedback in our continued analysis.
Since introduction of the proposed new standards, staff has been continuing to research the various options with the twin goals of realizing cost savings and being responsive to community feedback. This additional research will result in a new proposal to the School Board on May 16. The new proposal will return to the current 2011-12 transportation plan (and therefore minimal impact to current bell times) and a return to the 2010 ride times of up to 45 minutes. This new option is expected to save the district between $250,000-$500,000. While other options might have saved more money, the proposed new option is responsive to the feedback and will impact the students, schools and families the least. Transportation staff are continuing to refine the details of the new proposal, and more information will be provided to the Board and public prior to May 16.
In order to have a more thorough analysis of options for the 2013-14 and beyond transportation standards, the district has identified a task force comprised of state and local technical transportation experts to begin making recommendations for consideration. This task force will begin in May and have recommendations for the Superintendent to review in September, prior to the Open Enrollment period. We look forward to their recommendations and future discussions on this important topic and want to thank the school communities and parents that provided input into our budgeting process.
"..community engagement is occurring during the two weeks between introduction and the Board taking action. "
It only occurred because people spoke up. I do not believe they would have had any real outreach to parents if it wasn't for the outcry. I feel like many of you do - the district should truly admit the mistake because otherwise, it's revisionist history.