South Huntington students could face a significant rescheduling of class times as the result of transportation changes brought on by budget cuts.
Superintendent Thomas Shea outlined several options Wednesday night to curb transportation costs, including changes that would reduce the simultaneous need for vehicles because scheduling would be spread out over more hours.
Under one plan, and Silas Wood students might arrive as early as 6:55 a.m. and leave at 1:50 p.m., while under the same plan, 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.
Shea said a lack of competitive bidding is forcing prices higher. "As the monopoly increases, he prices increase," he said. At the same time, he defended the district practice of owning about half the necessary fleet, saying ownership helped contain costs. At least one member of the audience disputed him and insisted that contracting out busing would reduce costs.
Shea and the South Huntington school board are reviewing and presenting ideas on the 2012-13 budget in a series of weekly workshops as the process heads for adoption April 4 by the board and a public vote on May 15.
While Wednesday's meeting focused on transportation, it is only one of several areas under discussion for cuts. Shea listed other possible reductions in clerical staff, building and grounds, teaching, paraprofessional and administrative and chairman positions.
Programs, instruction and staffing will be addressed at the March 21 and March 28 workshops.
The cuts are driven in part by new state limits on raising the tax levy, which is the funding a district needs to raise through property taxes to balance its budget.
"We're not so naive that we think this isn't going to hurt the district and hurt the kids," Shea said.
The district transports 6,578 students daily, including 5,977 to seven district buildings, 520 to 36 private or parochial schools and 81 to special needs schools.
Current Transportation Schedulebuilding/buses arrival class departure Whitman (44) 7:25am
2:20pm Stimson/Silas Wood (38) 8:00 8:05-2:55 3:00 Oakwood/Countrywood 8:10 8:20-2:35 2:40 Birchwood/Maplewood 9:05 9:15-3:30 3:35
Transportation Revision, Option Abuilding/buses arrival class departure Birchwood/Maplewood (41)
1:50 pm Oakwood/Countrywood (37)
7:50 8-2:15 2:25 Whitman (44)
3:25 Stimson/Silas Wood (38)
9:15 9:20-4:05 4:10
Transportation Revision, Plan Bbuilding/buses arrival class departure Stimson/Silas Wood (38) 6:55am 7-1:45 1:50pm Oakwood/Countrywood (37) 8:00 8:10-2:25 2:35 Whitman (44) 8:35 8:40-3:25 3:30 Birchwood/Maplewood (41) 9:40 9:50-4:05 4:10