Bus Cost-Cutting Move Mixes Kids Of All Ages 5-09-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Bus Cost-Cutting Move Mixes Kids Of All Ages 5-09-2011

School board members in Hemlock will vote Monday night on an important measure to end separate school bus pickups for kids of different ages.
The vote comes after Gov. Rick Snyder proposed deep cuts to education budgets. If the measure passes, children as young as 5 years old would ride the bus with junior and high school students.
It's a proposal that could save the hemlock school district up to 70,000. But the cost-cutting measure isn't sitting well with some parents in the district.
“I don't think they should be taking it out on busing, taking the money out on transportation; I think they should be looking at other issues,” said parent Julie Browning.
“I don't think that's too good of an idea. I would rather keep it the way it is, it's working fine,” said grandparent, Terry Crevia.
“Based on all the options, nobody likes cuts, but it's a way to keep it out of the classroom,” said Hemlock Schools Superintendent Corinne Netzley.
And though some parents said they understand the budget issues, parent Julie Browning said the idea of her young students riding the same bus as older kids has her concerned.
“I think that the little kids would get picked on by the middle-schoolers,” said Browning.
If the proposal is passed and the younger kids have to ride with the older kids, the superintendent said there will be policies in place to make the ride go a little smoother.
“For instance, making sure the younger children are at the front of the bus, installing security cameras,” said Netzley. But some parents told TV5 it's not enough, and if the vote goes through, they will find a different way for their kids to get to school.
“I will be taking my kids to school, driving them and picking them up,” said Browning.
If the measure passes, all of the schools in the district would start busing the kids at the same time.
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