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Please save Bonsall school buses

 

Last updated 4/29/2019 at 9:11am



Bonsall School District is looking to get rid of busing for students, the transportation department. I have called various school districts within San Diego County and verified which school districts have or don’t have school buses. It is confirmed, some schools within walking distance to roads do not have school buses anymore just because of school budget cuts. Once school transportation was cut, they have not come back. However, schools in rural areas, such as Julian and Ramona still have school buses. I consider Bonsall a little rural. Given the fact that Sullivan Middle School and Bonsall High School are on Lilac Road, with no sidewalks and one lane going each way. Parents have raised safety concerns at Bonsall School District meetings bringing up fire safety issues or other natural disasters such as an earthquake on what would happen if something happened and there is no more school bus transportation. BUSD would have to contact a contractor to come out to take students to safety. Timing is everything. It would take too long. BUSD school buses are within five minutes of the middle school and high school so it would be beneficial for student safety.

Due to budget deficits, they are looking to get rid of buses if parents do not pay a $500 deposit by April 30. They have a quota to meet for each bus stop. The full price to be able to ride the bus is $1,000 this year for each student that rides the bus. Students who qualify for free or reduced lunch technically qualify to ride the bus free; however, that does not go toward funding for school buses. In other words, if we do not meet the quota needed for each bus stop, they will do away with school buses. We used to have Lake Rancho Viejo as a bus stop, but they are not busing that area next year. That leaves only Pala bus stop and Bonsall West Elementary, servicing the Arrowood community. I called BUSD, and they still need 40 bus passes to be secured with a $500 deposit just for the BWE bus stop. I am not sure how many passes are still needed for the other bus stops. It is imperative that we save school buses for Bonsall for several reasons.

First, Lilac road is not safe for students to walk to school. There are no sidewalks. Arrowood students who do not have any mode of transportation would have to walk to school. Walking from Arrowood community to SMS and BHS would take three hours and 45 minutes. walking through busy North River Road, Route 76, Camino del Cielo and onto Lilac Road.

Next, parents who work and cannot take their children to school or pick up, are forced to do an interdistrict transfer or in the worst cases, they are forced to sell their home due to the district doing away with transportation. A lot of families have bought homes within Arrowood primarily for the Bonsall School District and now without transportation, it will affect families who depended on school buses.

Parents can make a deposit two ways. By making an online payment at http://www.bonsallusd.com/apps/pages/businformation or by calling the transportation department at (760) 631-5213.

I was told parents could send a check with their students, so they could give it directly to the bus driver. Generally an application has to be filled out with the student’s name and the grade they will be attending for the 2019-2020 school year.

“Save our buses!”

Michelle Reyes, Sullivan Middle School parent

 

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