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Fewer kids may take the bus

May 6, 2014

Germantown — Students who take Germantown buses to private and parochial schools in the area may need to hitch a ride elsewhere beginning in the 2014-15 school year.

The Germantown School Board is discussing the employment of private and parochial school parent contracts, a change that would affect up to 50 students who currently use Germantown busIng for transportation to and from school. At this time, the board is not considering offering the contacts to public school students.

It would be the first time the district would employ the use of the contracts, which allows for payment to the families of eligible riders equal to the average cost to the district, in return for the family providing transportation.

In Germantown, that cost is about $612, a far cry from what the district spends to transport most of the private and parochial school students, which is between $1000 and $3000 per student. Affected parents would include parents of private and parchial students whose travel cost exceeds one and a half times the average cost, or about $918.

The board opted to delay a decision until they receive further information to ensure the decision will indeed save money for the district.

"I think it's the right path to go down," said Board President Bob Soderberg. "(We need to know) what are the best and worst case scenarios so the board can base our decision on fact."

Per state statues, the board has until 30 days before the start of the school year to make a decision, though board member Mike Loth challenged they should make a decision well before that.

"We need to take care of this and not drag it out," Loth said. "Parents of these 50 students are going to be affected by this and I think we owe them an answer sooner rather than later."

NEXT STEP

WHAT: further discussion and possible action on parent contracts at Germantown School Board meeting

WHEN: 7 p.m. Monday, May 12

WHERE: district administrative offices, W13840 Donges Bay Road

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