Consolidating bus stops may maintain service
To the Editor:
I understand that some residents and taxpayers might disagree with our decision to fight the Board of Education’s transportation policy especially since this will only affect children at the middle and high school levels.
However, when this state first adopted the transportation policy on distances it was in 1958, over 56 years ago. At that time, the majority of families had only one vehicle and there was a stay at home parent. The average income was $4,650 and students were able to walk to their designated neighborhood schools without any concern about the road safety as there were not as many cars on the roads then as there are today. In addition, cell phones did not exist .
This policy has not changed much since then. The distances have stayed the same. Some hazards have been added but it’s up to each town and city to pick and choose which hazards they would like to use.
As for saving money, yes, $80,000 was eliminated from the education side of the budget but $120,000 was added into the city side budget under the police department to hire crossing guards. I am sure that does not include the cost to pay a police officer for overtime when a crossing guard cannot attend their job for that day., or the amount of money it will now cost the Public Works Department to repair the multiple broken sidewalks that are not deemed safe for the students to use. So much for a savings to the taxpayers of Milford.
As for fairness, I agree we should have equity across the board in all our schools but we all know we do not have that. There are different programs and discipline polices that are used throughout the district. Roughly 80% of the students receive busing now, only 1,500 students are considered walkers now and I wonder how many of them live over a mile to their designated schools.
To keep the school children on the school bus, the Board of Education can consolidate bus stops, use the buses to their full capacity and if needed adjust the start/end time of the schools. I believe with some minor tweaks we can have a win-win situation for everyone and the taxpayers will not be forced to pay higher taxes if we use our services to their optimum capacity.