The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local Education

March 12, 2014

Anderson school officials propose transportation cost-saving measures

Six-point transportation plan will trim costs by $1.5 million

ANDERSON — Anderson Community Schools officials are proposing a six-point plan to cut transportation costs by at least $1.5 million starting this year.

The moves are necessary to begin balancing revenue with expenditures Kevin Brown and Joseph Cronk told the Board of Trustees on Tuesday. Brown is the district’s chief financial officer; Cronk is chief operations officer.

This school year (2013-2014), ACS spent just over $5.6 million in transportation costs using a fleet of 144 buses that transported primarily elementary school children to and from school, according to Brown and Cronk.

Beginning in the fall, however, they proposed:

— Eliminating bus transportation for students who attend other schools by choice. Students would still be able to choose different schools, but their parents would be required to provide transportation.

◆ Ending bus service for students who were formerly part of the federal No Child Left Behind program.

◆ End busing for student in high-ability programs, although a shuttle service would be provided.

◆ End busing for students who live in one district but attend school in another for “educational stability” purposes. Parents of these children would be required to provide their own transportation under the plan.

◆ Seek a 10 percent reduction in special education transportation in 2014, 1015 and 2016.

◆ And explore placement of English as a New Language programs in residence district schools.

Under the plan, the bus fleet would be reduced to 117; and about 665 students would be affected, Brown and Cronk said.

“This does not get us where we need to be even under the best-case scenario,” Brown said. He called the plan a first step in bringing revenue and expenditures under control. If necessary, officials could explore other areas where costs could be cut.

Between 2009 and 2011, transportation revenue and expenditures were approximately balanced at about $4 million. Costs began escalating in 2012, however, when the district began providing additional transportation options, Brown and Cronk said.

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