SEATTLE -- After months of debate and postponed votes, the Seattle Public School Board is expected to take action Wednesday on cutting $2.9 million from its transportation budget. Budget cuts and school bus services have drawn criticism from some parents.
The new and revised budget cuts and service changes come after the board asked the transportation committee to go back and tweak some boundaries, which has been a big issue for some parents.
Under the new proposal, district spokesperson Teresa Wippel says the biggest move is to push bus arrival times 10 minutes later for all schools in the Seattle Public School district. That means buses will arrive at high schools and middle schools at 7:45 a.m. and depending on which elementary school a child attends, bus arrival times will be either 8:35 a.m. or 9:25 a.m.
This will push back all school start times whether a child takes the bus or not. And for students who attend high school, the new proposal is to shrink walk zones from 2.5 miles to 2 miles. Wippel says more students will be getting ORCA cards from the district to ride Metro buses not a yellow bus.
If this passes, the district expects 1,000 students will be taking Metro buses to school. Some parents have voiced concerns these proposed changes would mess up families’ morning routine.
The district is facing an $18 million - $19 million dollar budget shortfall. Cuts are necessary and transportation is the largest chunk of its budget, according to Wippel.
The Seattle Public School board is expected to vote on the transportation cuts and changes at Wednesday's board meeting which starts at 4:15 p.m.