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Poll: How Early Is Too Early for Students?

South Huntington bus costs could mean some students would start class at 7 a.m.

Transportation costs are on the table as South Huntington school district officials prepare next year's budget.

One of the options the district is considering is a major rescheduling of classes that would limit the number of buses required at any given time by stretching out the hours of transportation.

Under one plan, and Silas Wood students might arrive as early as 6:55 a.m. and leave at 1:50 p.m., while Birchwood and Maplewood students would arrive at 9:40 a.m. and leave at 4:10 p.m.

Currently, the earliest arrivals occur at 7:25 a.m., at , and the last departure is at 3:35 p.m. from Birchwood and Maplewood.

The district expects to spend $8,159,596 on transportation for the coming year.

What do you think is a reasonable schedule for students? And are there better ways to cut transportation costs? Vote in our poll and tell us in the comments.

joey March 24, 2012 at 12:44 AM
It is cheaper to outsource but the big concern regarding this article is why put Birchwood 3,4, and 5 graders on a bus at 6:20-6:30 am when its dark outside. That is an insane time for such young children. I have spoken to moms in Huntington and they couldn't believe it. Also go drop off at 7am in the morning in front of Birchwood and ask the crossing guard if she has the proper lighting equipment to be seen; the street lights are pretty sparse. Just today in nice bright weather my daughter had to wait as the guard held her back on the sidewalk because a car came around wolf hill going pretty fast and she did not know if he was going to stop. I am hoping for the safety of the children they drop this issue.
joey March 24, 2012 at 12:52 AM
To add the Board made a comment the other night at the meeting that they reviewed the early morning schedules a few years ago and voted it down as it was deemed unsafe. Did the issue get any safer a few years later?????
Kathy March 24, 2012 at 02:24 AM
From what I understand, Huntington Coach does 75 routes and the district does 70 routes,and Huntington Coach had to fill in for district routes an additional 475 times in the 2010-2011 school year. As for the fuel, the school district purchases it from Huntington Coach but they only charge for fuel from the first bus stop to the last drop off, in other words, whenever there are kids on the bus. With the district buses, they pay for all the fuel. I believe that the district and Huntington Coach are in agreement with the numbers now and a complete privitization means over a $1,000,000 savings per year to the district, plus whatever they get for selling their buses, plus the ongoing lease income for the bus depot. As for Huntington Coach making money, well, of course they're in it to make money, that's how things work in our country. That's how most of us live, we work for money. In addition, the school district is supposed to be a good steward of our money, which they are not doing it this case. They are spending over $1,000,000 more than they have to for buses and instead are choosing to cut things that directly affect the kids. The school district is supposed to be in the business of educating, not busing.
Kathy March 24, 2012 at 02:28 AM
There are bad apples throughout society. When I googled your claim of huntington coach drivers being arrested, I found an article about a south huntington district driver being arrested for rape, so there are no guarantees that any of these people are not going to commit crimes. Everyone must be vigilant at all times to protect our kids. When my son was in school, he never took the bus. I drove him and picked him up every single day until he could drive himself because I didn't trust some stranger with his life. As for the drivers...Huntington Coach will offer any qualified driver a job with their company, so chances are the children will have the same driver and nothing will change.
Kathy March 24, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Also Sue, there is another benefit to all this. If you have a district driver that you don't like for whatever reason, it would be extremely difficult to get rid of him/her due to the union. But if you outsource the busing, the district can just tell Huntington Coach they don't want any particular driver and they will take them off your route. You cannot do that with a district driver unless they commit a serious crime or something.

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