California lawmakers keep school buses rolling

The California Legislature restores $248 million for home-to-school transportation. Gov. Jerry Brown had eliminated school busing money after state revenues fell short of projections.
California lawmakers keep school buses rolling

School buses are likely to keep rolling for now, as the Legislature on Thursday

restored $248 million for home-to-school transportation that was particularly

crucial for small and rural school districts that need to take students across

long distances.

Gov. Jerry Brown,

who eliminated the school busing money as of January after state revenues fell

short of projections, has indicated that he supports the move.

Educators

throughout California had mobilized against the midyear elimination of all

busing money, arguing that it would hit hardest remote districts such as Death

Valley, which spends about $3,400 per student, compared to $26 or less for many

suburban districts.

The bill, SB 81, would affect all districts — large

or small — equally. To restore the $248 million, legislators agreed to cut

districts’ per-pupil funding by $42 per student. The bill breezed through both

the state Senate and Assembly on bipartisan votes and was sent to the governor’s

desk.