Menifee School District canceling bus services

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For about one out of every 10 students in the Menifee Union School District, the school bus is their primary form of transportation. (KABC)

Starting next year, students in a Riverside County school district will have to explore other transportation options because the district said it is canceling buses for almost all students.

For about one out of every 10 students in the Menifee Union School District, the school bus is their primary form of transportation.

"We've been facing some rather austere budget times for a number of years," said Superintendent Dr. Steve Kennedy.

He said cutting bus service will save the school district $750,000 per year.

If this decision wasn't made, Kennedy said other cuts to the district's schools were inevitable.

"There would've had to have been layoffs of some kind. There would probably be some other services that we would kind of have to pull back on whether it be library or other kinds of things," he said.

Kennedy said part of the problem starts when the state decides how much to pay local school districts for bus service. He said they still use a formula from 1964.

"At that time, we were a tiny school district. I think we operated one bus and we were compensated like we still operated one bus," he said. "In the last year, we actually had 14 routes that were being utilized."

While the state paid the district more than $100,000 for bus service last year, Kennedy said the bill was actually over $2 million. He said they just can't afford that anymore.

"It's going to put a lot of people out," said a parent. "Especially the people that work too cause now they're going to be late for work and now how is that going to affect jobs?"

"They won't have anyone to drop them off at school and they don't have the money to pay for babysitting," said another parent.

Federal law requires that both special needs students and homeless students have access to the bus and that will continue.

For everyone else, the options are find a ride or walk.

Related Topics:
educationschoolbusriverside countystudentsMenifeeRiverside County
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