Return to Headlines

Levy Information Update - Transportation

October 14, 2014

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The Board of Education has directed the administration to provide a detailed and transparent reduction plan that may be necessary to implement if the November 4, 2014 operating levy request is unsuccessful.  In an effort to continue to provide you with information related to the potential reductions in the school district, we have created the following frequently asked questions specifically focused on student school bus transportation.  This information includes a link to street names and addresses that will become ineligible for student transportation if the operating levy is unsuccessful.  Please know that the decision to include reductions to transportation services for students was not entered into lightly. 

Why are reductions being proposed for the school district?

The school district has an operating levy on the ballot on November 4, 2014.  If the levy request is unsuccessful, the district must make $7.5 million in reductions in order to operate the school district and eliminate the negative ending cash balance projected.  School bus transportation will generally be reduced to state minimum requirements by law should the levy be unsuccessful. 

Which students are required to be transported to school by law?

Ohio law requires that students enrolled in grades kindergarten through eight who live more than 2 miles from the school shall be eligible to be transported to and from school unless otherwise provided by law.  Transportation is not required for any student enrolled in grades nine through twelve by law.

How many students will become ineligible for transportation if reduced to state minimum requirement of 2 miles?

1,213 students enrolled in grades K-12 will become ineligible for daily bus transportation to and from school if transportation is reduced to state minimum standards.

When will the 1,213 students become ineligible for bus transportation?

Students living within 2 miles of their school building will become ineligible for bus transportation effective January 5, 2015.

Why will the transportation changes occur after winter recess in January rather than immediately in November if the levy is unsuccessful?

Transportation will not change until January, 2015 due to construction on the school campus.  Construction will end during winter recess.  When complete, the district will open its K-12 bus loop north of the 1-8 school building and reopen the tennis court parking lot for additional assigned student and staff parking. 

How will transportation to and from school change if the November 4, 2014 levy is unsuccessful?

Beginning January 5, 2015, the first day back-to-school from winter recess, students that live within 2 miles of their school building will become ineligible for school bus transportation daily, unless an elementary route is maintained for the remainder of the 2014-15 school year.

Are there any exceptions to the 2 mile rule that will be implemented January 5, 2015?

Yes.  For the remainder of the 2014-15 school year starting January 5, 2015, any student enrolled in grades K-5 will remain eligible for bus transportation if their home address is less than 2 miles from school but a K-5 bus route still exists on their street.  This exception will exist because all K-5 students ride the same bus and a bus will be traveling to the street to pick up students anyway.  It is possible that a home address may be less than 2 miles to travel to the K-1 building, but greater than 2 miles to travel to the 2-5 building.  This will ensure that siblings in the same household attending the K-1 or 2-5 buildings will remain eligible to ride the bus.  This exception will allow 442 K-5 students to remain eligible for transportation for the remainder of the 2014-15 school year.

How many bus routes will be eliminated in January, 2015 if the levy is unsuccessful?

The proposed transportation reduction will eliminate 10 bus routes.

What streets and current addresses will become ineligible for transportation?

A list of the streets and current addresses that are within the 2 mile radius from each student's school of attendance that will become ineligible for daily school bus transportation beginning January 5, 2015 should the November 4, 2014 levy be unsuccessful may be found here

Will changes still occur if the levy passes on November 4, 2014?

Upon levy passage, the district will not implement state minimum standards to provide transportation only to students who live more than 2 miles from the school. 

However, the district will continue to assess how changing student school day start and end times can reduce costs and increase transportation efficiencies for the start of the 2015-16 school year next August.  We will continue to develop our Safe Routes to Schools plans with the City of New Albany to continue to encourage more walking/biking to school.   Thereafter, the administration will work with the Board of Education and our community to discuss the potential implementation of a walking/biking to and from school policy.

Please know that we thank you for your continued partnership in the school district.  We understand that a reduction to transportation to state minimum requirements will create hardships for some of our families.  The recommendation to reduce transportation services was not made easily but is necessary in order to balance the impact that $7.5 million dollars in reductions has for the entire school district.  We prioritized reductions to protect classroom instruction as much as possible.  This information is provided to be responsive to helping our families know and understand what changes will occur for student transportation to and from school if the November 4, 2014, levy is unsuccessful.  Your continued feedback is welcomed.

Sincerely,

April Domine                          Michael Sawyers                     Phil Bice
Superintendent                        Chief of Operations                Coordinator of Transportation Services