More students riding the bus

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 12:10 pm

At its regular meeting Sept. 9, the Elk Point-Jefferson School Board added a sixth bus to the fleet to transport students in town.

Superintendent Derek Barrios said the number of students signed up for bus service increased this year to the point they are picking up as many as 140 in-town students in the morning and dropping off up to 200 in the afternoon. At a cost of $140 per trip, the extra bus will add over $20,000 to the school’s budget.

According to state law, the district is required to bus students who live more than five miles from the school. Barrios said the board is looking at its options within that requirement while still keeping to its budget. Right now, there are several stops only a few blocks from the school. Alternatives might include streamlining the in-town routes to avoid using extra buses, reducing the number of stops or charging for in-town busing. The board is keeping all of its options open for now. The only action they took at the meeting was to approve an addendum to the contract with MidStates School Bus, Inc. for the additional bus. They will continue to look at ways to keep busing on-budget. A decision will be made before the start of next school year.

See full story in this week’s Leader-Courier.