Data and Info on School Busing

Update: a link to a Soup for Teachers Facebook page with a school-specific petition (you take their wording and put in your specifics so Super/Board know what will happen at YOUR school).
end of update

With all this discussion, I thought I'd throw up a few pieces of information.

Fun Facts
  • In 2004-2005, the most recent year for which statistics are complied, 55.3% of the over 45M children enrolled in public K-12 schools were bused to school at public expense.

  • The United States spends $17.5 billion per year on school bus transportation at an average cost of $692 per student transported.1
  • The percentage of children bused has been declining steadily since the mid-1980s, when slightly more than 60% of children were bused. At that time, the average expenditure per student transported was under $300.2
  • In FY2009, approximately $180 million in federal Safe Routes to School funding will be made available to each state’s Department of Transportation to help school districts make it safer for children to walk and bicycle to school.
Safe Routes to School National Partnership

This article from the Florida state legislature on busing has a map showing that 13 states allow district to charge parents for transportation.

This Washington legislature Citizens Guide to School Funding also talks about busing, see page 10.

OSPI and K-12 transportation

Pay to Ride article from Public School Review.

Sarah Wiley, another concerned taxpayer, chose to point the finger at state legislators, rather than the school board. At the same meeting, she asked lawmakers, “I want to know how you expect us to do more with less when you all voted against schools? You voted for charters and vouchers that took money away from us.”


TechyMom said…
I put this on the start times thread, but maybe it makes more sense here.

If we can't afford reasonable start times and bussing, then maybe it's time to look at eliminating or cutting back on general ed bussing. Crossing guards at dangerous intersections have to be cheaper than busses and drivers. The city could help out with traffic lights, police patrols, bike lanes and sidewalks.

By reasonable start time, I mean that all schools start at 9:00.
Techy Mom, I have to wonder why this wasn't part of the discussion from the start and maybe needs to be a long-term discussion.
seattle citizen said…
Cost per pupil transported was (recently...?) $692, but only $300 mid-1980s. Is that $300 adjusted for inflation, or have transport costs doubled? If so, why?
Anonymous said…
If less kids are getting busing cost per student is bound to go up .
Infrastructure / bureaucracy cost.

People running the transportation department need there raises.

Taking away out of neighborhood busing was a huge blow to equitable access in my opinion.
The amount save was a pittance, less than a million the first year, I believe. All so someone downtown could say they 'streamlined' the system, and buck for a raise.

Sorry to beat a...

Dead Horse

Inequality4All said…
Dead Horse, you are spot on regarding equity. In WS, the NSAP has basically resegregated the schools. I don't agree with Marty McLaren very much these days but this is one area in which she recognizes the negative consequences this has had on many communities. Granted, I'm not sure that she would ever promote any efforts to change it...
Anonymous said…
Question about yellow bus service. My daughter reports that there have been kids that need to stand in the aisle of the yellow bus in the morning on the way to school. These are high schoolers, so cramming three to a seat doesn't work. The yellow bus runs through our neighborhood (Magnolia) because there is no metro route. I thought standing on yellow buses was not legal....

Ballard mom
seattle citizen said…
Washington State prohibits standing in the aisle of a school bus. This is extremely unsafe: report immediately to Transportation.
WA code on riding school bus
dj said…
Ballard mom, my oldest reported to me that her bus driver told the students on the bus that too many kids are allocated to the bus and that if the bus filled, he just wouldn't pick up students. No idea if that was a joke or not. (Said kid attends Hamilton).
seattle citizen said…
dj - I hope the driver WASN'T joking. I'm surprised that the Magnolia driver was allowing students to stand in aisle: the driver is ultimately responsible for the students' safety and the law. The driver should be telling First Student and the district that the route has too many students.
Anonymous said…
I heard one of the Hamilton bus drivers quit the first day, because the bus was overloaded, and they weren't willing to drive that unsafely. i don't know if that is exactly what happened (I just heard this on facebook the first day of school), but it does sound like something is going on with overloaded buses.

Anonymous said…
I did write to all of the board members a couple of days before the vote to really kill out of neighborhood transport.

The only one to respond was Sue Peters.

She was also the only one to ask questions at the subsequent board meeting.
The best question was about losing matching funds from the state if we cut busing?
The flunkey could not explain the state's criteria for transport reimbursement.
He just said the state was encouraging reduced transport costs and left it at that.

This vote did not encourage community, it diminished it.

Dead Horse

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