You've got some unhappy families right now dealing with the loss of after-school activity buses that dropped off Wake County students to community centers near their homes.
As noted in today's article by Thomas Goldsmith, the school district cut the bus service in an attempt to save money. These 65 buses transported students who were on campus after classes for things such as tutoring, sports and band.
Beverley Clark, a former school board member who has been a vocal critic of the new board majority, said the move is ill-advised.
“In this economy we have many families where both parents have to work and cannot leave work to pick their children up from school,” Clark said. “Eliminating the after school activity buses impacts any family without a car or a flexible schedule. Most importantly, there is extensive research that shows the strong relationship between students engaged in extracurricular activities and student achievement.”
The loss of the after-school bus service would appear to be even harder on students at magnet schools who travel further to get to class.
Ridership on the buses varied from school to school and season to season, said Michael Evans, Wake's chief communications officer, who did not have hard numbers for overall ridership.
“Some had as few as five and some 20 or 30,” Evans said. “It became expensive to maintain that kind of service.”
School officials differentiated between the discontinued after-school activity buses and buses owned and funded by individual schools, which can still be used to take students to night sports events and the like.
The board has also put off buying any more of the activity buses, which cost about $80,000 each, during the next two budget years.