Goshen Community Schools’ transportation plans for the 2013-2014 school year could include increased walk zones and several bus pick up “hubs” where students meet to be picked up all together, said Robert Evans, Goshen Community Schools’ assistant superintendent of transportation and educational services, at the Goshen School Board meeting Monday evening, April 22.
Goshen, Concord and Elkhart school system leaders say they are being financially crunched by shortfalls in their transportation, bus replacement and capital project funds, due to caps to local property taxes.
Elkhart Community Schools is in the process of holding public meetings to discuss options for its busing plans. They include altering elementary schools’ district boundaries and changing start and end times for schools.
Evans told the school board at its meeting Monday that the study group will be considering:
- increasing walk zones
- bus pick up “hubs”
- reducing the number of bus routes
- outsourcing transportation, including hearing a proposal from TransPar, a student transportation group, and talking with the Michiana Area Council of Governments (MACOG), which runs the local trolley system
In a memo Evans with the Goshen School Board, he wrote that:
“No one in this group wants to hinder students from participating in extra-curricular activities, athletics, or band trips, however, transporting students to activities is a significant cost. The truth is that all of these changes may not match the money needed to make the fund solvent.”
The group will also have to look at what to do about transportation for field trips.
“The reality is the public is going to feel the impact,” Evans said about the shortfall to the transportation fund.
The study group includes school personnel, community members and a school board member, Evans said.
The study group plans to have recommendations ready for school board approval by early May.
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