Bus cuts would raise big concerns

To the editor:

We’re writing to express our concern about the possible discontinuation of busing to private schools by the Oberlin school district. Busing to Lake Ridge and other private schools is the law, until and unless it is declared impractical. In addition, it is simply not legal for the district to ask parents to compensate Oberlin for said busing.

We’re concerned about the board’s decision to vote on impracticality for two main reasons:

• Safety: The yellow school bus is the safest way to get all children to school. Statistics show that busing is 15 times safer than a parent-driven vehicle and 44 times safer than a vehicle driven by a student.

• Cost: Our review of the transportation portion of the budget revealed some issues that each of us, as Oberlin residents and taxpayers, ought to be concerned about.

First, we strongly disagree with the proposed savings of $33,000. We believe the cost of transportation to Lake Ridge to be significantly lower and have shared our findings with the board.

Second, Oberlin’s budgeted bus maintenance costs are extraordinarily high when compared with state averages for a fleet of similar size and age.

Finally, the proposed savings represents a minor portion of the total district budget. Even if we accept the $33,000 figure, busing to Lake Ridge is less than two-tenths of one percent of the total yearly district budget.

Jessa New

Kelly Prill