$248 Million Restored For Home-To-School Transportation
Schools will still have to face budget cuts to their programs, although they have been recalculated to remedy the disproportionate effect the cut would have had on certain schools, namely those in urban and rural areas.
Gov. Jerry Brown had originally eliminated school busing money in January. The original cut resulted in a loss of $38 million to the LAUSD, according to Edgar Zazueta, the director of governmental relations at LAUSD. After the bill's recalculation of funding, the cut will be approximately $24 million.
Since LAUSD Superintendent Dr. John Deasy did not find it feasible to stop transportation services in the middle of the school year in January, no bus drivers were laid off and busing services continued.
If school transportation had ceased, it would have deeply impacted an urban district like Los Angeles since they are mandated by law to provide bus services to their large population of special education students. School transportation is also required for students who are part of a desegregation program in which students from different areas attend magnet schools outside of where they live.
On the other end of the spectrum, rural areas in the Central Valley would also suffer since students do not live walking distance to school and rarely have any other way to get to there besides taking a bus, said Zazueta.
He added that schools will still have to deal with budget cuts, but it will be up to each district how to distribute those cuts, from teacher lay-offs to cuts in adult education.
Although SB 81 has protected funding for school bus services until the end of this school year, LAUSD will still have to work with Gov. Brown to solve the ongoing problem of underfunded schools in the long run.
Reach Tricia Tongco here.