Would you pay for busing to school?

Discussion in 'Childhood and Beyond (4+)' started by rissakaye, Jun 24, 2009.

  1. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Due to state budget cuts we are now in a position where if we want busing to school, we have to pay $150 per year. They are no longer providing buses for kids that live less than 2.5 miles away. We live 1.7 miles away and to get there you have to go over a major interstate. Walking is not an option to me. It would mean me taking them. We have 1/2 day kindergarten so I would take them right after 12 and pick them up at 3:30. I pretty much figured my day was all chopped up anyway. And I was quite fine taking them. They want parents in the classroom and some they have coming in once a week to help, so I figured I was going to be driving them some with that anyway. I had very long bus rides as a child and hated it. Their ride would have been shorter than mine were, but I was still thinking that I was ok taking them.

    The only reason I'm questioning this is I mentioned it to my mil tonight. She thought $150 was a bargain to get out of taking the kids to school and by the end of the year I'll resent it and hate it. She took her kids most years. I think our perspective is a little different because she had kids 3 different ages and part of the time she would have been juggling a baby and naps while taking kids to school. My dh's kindergarten year she would have had to take my bil in the morning, my dh at noon and pick them up at the end of the day while having a baby to take care of. It would have been a total pain.

    I guess how inconvient is it really to take the kids to school and pick them up daily? I'm staying home and working on church stuff or going to be volunteering at school. Would it be worth paying $150 for a bus?


    Marissa
     
  2. Jen620

    Jen620 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Annie is at a charter school and there are no buses. It got old after awhile, but it wasn't bad. It's an opportunity to see the teacher daily if you choose/need to and socialize with other parents at pick up and drop off.

    One of my friends was up at school 3 times a day: AM drop off, noon pick up of the PreK, and 3:30 dismissal of her first grader. Another will do it in the fall.

    Makes for good conversation time too. Also, you never really know how long the bus ride will be. We live 15 minutes from Annie's preschool, but she had an hour long bus ride home from 4yo preschool because we were the last stop. A few times she fell asleep! :)

    I'm all for driving!
     
  3. jxnsmama

    jxnsmama Well-Known Member

    I definitely would pay for it.

    Our city doesn't have neighborhood schools -- it's by lottery. You get priority if you choose your neighborhood school, but if you choose a different one, transportation is still free. IMO, we could alleviate a lot of our budget problems by charging for busing. We're in a city of 150,000, and the amount of buses running around here is ridiculous. It would encourage people to just stick with their neighborhood schools, but without mandating that they choose them, so we'd reduce the risk of another lawsuit while helping the budget.

    My kids go to a magnet school across town. It's not convenient to drive them there, and they enjoy the 30-min. bus ride anyway. In fact, on days when I'm volunteering at school, they often would rather ride the bus than with me. And honestly, since I chose a school that isn't my neighborhood school, it seems perfectly reasonable to me that I should have to pay for transportation.
     
  4. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    My parents paid twice that amout 25 years ago! I defineately say the bus is worth it. If you drive, you actually will have less time, because you drop them at 12, but still have the ride home. Then you have to leave around 3:10 to pick them up for 3:30, it really shortens your work time. The reason I give a 20 min window, is because you leave extra time so you can park and be ready before the kids are actually dismissed.

    With the bus you will get an extra 45 min to an hour to your day.
     
  5. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Amy- I think why the school systems don't charge is because at least the state of Kansas, reimburses the school district for any kids that are 2.5 miles or further from the school. It would have to be a state-wide descision I think because the district isn't the one paying that bill. They were picking up the rest of us who were under 2.5 miles because it was on the way. I know that last year they ended up having to add an extra bus to handle just our street that about 5 courts are off of because of so many kids. They will save the cost of at least that bus this year.

    I guess I'm still on the fence. It's only about 10 mins to the school with traffic. If I catch the lights right, it's 5. I also know that next year, I can probably car-pool with some other parents. Since we're 1/2 day though, it's not practical this year.

    Marissa
     
  6. jamey

    jamey Well-Known Member

    I don't know if I would use it or not. I have to take my girls, because we are transfers - so I have to provide transportation. $150 seems like a steal of a deal, but only if you really use it.

    OTOH, I SOOO wish the girls's school would offer this! Their school is in a rapidly growing area, and everyone lives less than 2 miles away from the school. The school has 800 kids & two buses, if that tells you anything -- so all the parents DRIVE the kids to school, which makes drop-off/pickup MADDENING.
     
  7. Meximeli

    Meximeli Well-Known Member

    Here in Mexico there is not school transportation at all. It kind of puts a different perspective on things. When I was gowing up in Iowa I wasn't allowed to walk to jr. high even though it was only about a mile away but it was across a four lane road and the law required that the school transport me across that road.
    But one of the perks I see of picking them up daily is the talking to the teacher thing. Where mine go to school now I go to the classroom to get them and the teacher gives a little mini report for each child daily.
     
  8. Julie

    Julie Well-Known Member

    $150 sounds like a great deal. I pay about $350 a year for my girls to ride and you only have to pay for the first 2 kids here. I think it is worth every penny. Parents line up to pick kids up 20-30 min before school is out so it is a time saver. My girls are the first on the bus and the first off. They only spend about 15 mins on the bus in the morning and less that 10 in the afternoon. I really appreciate not have to go out in the winter. It also help that our house is a bus stop. In bad weather they can wait inside for the bus. We are in the KC area (Olathe).
     
  9. BellaRissa

    BellaRissa Well-Known Member

    I drove my oldest dd to school from K until her senior year of high school when she got her DL. Some of the best conversations we had were on the way to school & home. For my little ones, I will drive them to school - in general, buses do not have seat belts or car seats. I wouldn't put them on a bus without a restrainst system. Plus, I enjoy the little games we play on the way to school.
     
  10. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    QUOTE
    buses do not have seat belts


    Actually, when Jon rode the mini bus to preschool, he had both a seatbelt and a carseat. The big busses here all have seatbelts, and won't move until the kids are buckled up.
     
  11. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    DS2 attends a private school. The first year, we provided transportation. We are now happy to pay $200/month to have the van (which does have seatbelts) pick him up and bring him home.
     
  12. Becky02

    Becky02 Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(BellaRissa @ Jun 27 2009, 04:36 PM) [snapback]1371253[/snapback]
    I drove my oldest dd to school from K until her senior year of high school when she got her DL. Some of the best conversations we had were on the way to school & home. For my little ones, I will drive them to school - in general, buses do not have seat belts or car seats. I wouldn't put them on a bus without a restrainst system. Plus, I enjoy the little games we play on the way to school.

    I went on a class trip with my girls this year and went on a regular size bus and it did have seat belts so I don't know if they are starting to put them on the buses now or if our school requested ones with seatbelts since it was a kindergarten trip.

    We don't have busing in our town so you either have to walk or drive your child. Right now I don't have a problem walking since it's two blocks from my house but when my girls go to the middle and high school I wouldn't mind paying that money to have them bused since I would have to drive them since it's to far to walk. I also hate to drive especially in the winter with the snow so for me it would be a selfish reason to not have to drive in bad weather (which if it was to bad I know they would cancel but for me if the ground is wet I get nervous since I had a accident when it was raining out and I have been nervous ever since).
     
  13. Oneplus2more

    Oneplus2more Well-Known Member

    QUOTE(jamey @ Jun 25 2009, 11:11 AM) [snapback]1368259[/snapback]
    I don't know if I would use it or not. I have to take my girls, because we are transfers - so I have to provide transportation. $150 seems like a steal of a deal, but only if you really use it.

    OTOH, I SOOO wish the girls's school would offer this! Their school is in a rapidly growing area, and everyone lives less than 2 miles away from the school. The school has 800 kids & two buses, if that tells you anything -- so all the parents DRIVE the kids to school, which makes drop-off/pickup MADDENING.


    Do you know what the scene is at your school for drop off/pick up? The school by us always has a huge line backed way out in to the street - luckily for me is a four lane road :D I would check to see what kind of line you may be waiting in.

    For me, I would like to have the option, I would think it was worth the $150.



    QUOTE(Meximeli @ Jun 25 2009, 11:16 AM) [snapback]1368266[/snapback]
    Here in Mexico there is not school transportation at all. It kind of puts a different perspective on things. When I was gowing up in Iowa I wasn't allowed to walk to jr. high even though it was only about a mile away but it was across a four lane road and the law required that the school transport me across that road.
    But one of the perks I see of picking them up daily is the talking to the teacher thing. Where mine go to school now I go to the classroom to get them and the teacher gives a little mini report for each child daily.



    Will you be going in to the school or having the opportunity to talk to other parents like mentioned in another pp? Or would you just be waiting in a car line? I do think having that daily contact with the teacher/other parents would be nice but I'm wondering if it would actually work out that way?
     
  14. rissakaye

    rissakaye Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Thanks for all the input. I'm considering things I hadn't thought of yet.

    We're leaning toward driving them. We figured it out with higher gas prices than we currently have and really bad winter gas mileage and it would be around $90 a year to drive them. Once they hit first grade and all day, dh can just drop them off on the way to work and I can pick them up. It's not really out of his way to do that.

    They have had this school closed all year for remodeling and are reopening in the fall. I had looked at the handbook for the temporary building they were in. At that building they were having all car riders enter and exit by a seperate entrance than the bus kids. I got the impression it was a line situation. I don't know the details for this building yet.

    As for the number of kids doing this, this school is least impacted by this busing change. This is the original elem. school for the town (why it was getting remodeled). The next oldest one is about 4 blocks away. So the immeadiate neighborhood and surrounding area goes to other school. We are just barely in our schools boundaries and are practically the closest at 1.7 miles. Our bus stop is the closest one to the school. Most of this school's kids will still be bused. (Dh and I both agreed that 800 kids and 2 school buses would be worth paying for busing).

    I'm hopeful that more info will be forth-coming. This was just passed at a board meeting on Tues night so we're still learning things. I'm still also wondering about the 4 lane highway exemptions most states put on the busing limitations. Our town is divided in half north/south by an interstate highway going right across it. It goes under our roads and there are no exits. I wonder about not providing busing for elementary kids over an interstate. Once again, it's an oddity of our particular school. All the other schools are located in the neighborhood where their kids are located. We are the only school in town with the interstate between the neighborhood and the school.

    Marissa
     
  15. Amanda

    Amanda Well-Known Member

    We're a 'Robin Hood' school and have to pay to ride as well. I've taken Berkley to/from every year and I'm considering letting her ride this year. . . paying to ride STINKS!!! :(
     
  16. dollymomma

    dollymomma Well-Known Member

    We don't have the option to bus our kids either. I have walked or driven our kids to school for their entire career, and while I agree the bus would be super convenient, it does cut out the opportunity to be in close contact with the teacher. I have had great relationships with my kids' teachers mainly because I am there (or my dh) daily and can talk to them if I need, or vice versa. If you don't mind driving them, I would go with that. It is a great opportunity to talk to your kids daily about what is going on, how their day was, etc. I rode the bus to school from 7th grade on until I graduated, and it was fine, but there was the odd day that my mom or dad would drive me and I look at those times fondly because of the conversations we had. Having to drive my kids to school every day is something that isn't always convenient, but it is time with my kids that I can use to our advantage, building our relationship. I will admit that at times I wish I could send my kids on the bus, especially as they get older and more independent. I guess it depends a lot on your priorities as far as your time and what you want/need to get done while they are in school.
     
  17. jxnsmama

    jxnsmama Well-Known Member

    At my kids' former schools, talking with the teacher wasn't really an option. At H&B's school last year, we were allowed to come to the classroom to pick up our kids for the first few weeks. After that, "car" parents had to line up and pick them up in the car at the back of the school. It was highly regimented and regulated. At their current school, most parents still pick up in the circle drive in front. It's hard to find parking to go in and pick them up at the classroom, and frankly, things are so hectic trying to get all the kids in the right place, it's not real conducive to communicating. (I've tried.) But I agree that's a great benefit if it works for the parent. I personally did better by volunteering in the classroom. That gave me lots of time to talk to the them.

    Since I'm an SAHM, I'm in the car with my kids all the time! :D I agree, though, being in the car with them makes for great conversation time, and we do get plenty of that.
     
  18. sharongl

    sharongl Well-Known Member

    Our school has a similar policy to Amy's, in that all children who are picked up have the kids sent to either the cafeteria or the front hallway. Parents never see the teachers at pick-up. Especially since walkers and riders are dismissed before the bus kids.
     
  19. Julie

    Julie Well-Known Member

    Even if I drove my kids I would not get to see the teachers. I do volunteer weekly at the school and I have a lot of contact with teachers and staff doing that. My kids arrive home on the bus about 10 minutes after school is out and I am at home to greet them and to hear about their day.
     
  20. Katheryn

    Katheryn Well-Known Member

    Yes, I would pay for it and am thrilled that my twins will have busing to Middle School (6th-8th). The school is not far, just 1.5 miles, but since I work at 7am-3:30 pm 2 days a week busing will be a relief to my family in trying to divide up who's driving and who's picking up (my older two girls drive, but have work/school also). The bus cost for us is $30 a trimester for the first child, $15 for the second, and less ($5 or $10)for the third child. We can also buy daily passes instead of the trimester pass which I might consider as they really don't have to bus it every day. We'll see. Unfortunately there is no busing for the high school which is 4 miles away! I'll worry about that later :huh: .
     
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