Dublin City Schools
Already tweaked busing could be cut if levy fails
Busing in the Dublin City School district has already taken a hit, but could be altogether eliminated in one area if the Nov. 6 levy is voted down.
Dublin City Schools Superintendent David Axner last week outlined some of the areas $10 million to $12 million in cuts could affect if a combined 6.4-mill operating levy and $15.8-million bond issue isn't approved by voters in November.
High school busing could be one of them.
In an effort to cut $7.1 million from the district's budget after a joint 7.2-mill operating levy and $25-million bond issue was rejected last fall, the district changed high school busing routes by combining stops into group stops. Students can still use the bus, but must walk farther to catch it.
"Transportation was hit with the reductions," Axner said last week.
If the combined 6.94-mill tax issue fails Nov. 6, Axner said high school busing could be altogether eliminated because it is not required by the state.
Although the school year has already started, the district is looking into ways to tweak busing for students who don't attend Dublin City Schools but live in the district.
A few parents of Oakstone Academy students last week questioned the board of education on the status of busing for their children.
"My children were picked up, but we were told it's temporary," Bob Lewis said.
Axner said ridership for buses for private and parochial schools children within the Dublin City School district is down.
"Jeff (Cosby, transportation supervisor,) is talking to other districts on getting this done and still providing transportation," he said.
One route used to transport 24 students, but now only buses six, Axner said.
"The reason for the temporary transportation right now is because we think we can work something out (with another school district)," he said.
If the fall levy fails and busing is cut for high school students, it will also mean no busing for high school students attending schools outside the district.
"If we don't bus (grades) nine through 12, we don't do it for parochial, either," Cosby said.
Other possible areas that could be affected by cuts if the Nov. 6 levy fails are Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate programs, an increase in pay-to-participate fees, athletic programs, cuts to staffing and an increase in class sizes.
The 6.4-mill operating levy on the fall ballot would fund the district as-is through the 2016 fiscal year. The $15.8-million bond issue would fund technology and maintenance on items such as asphalt, roofs and concrete across the district. The bond would also fund improvements to the traffic flow at Riverside Elementary, an expansion of the commons area at Davis Middle School and new fire alarm and HVAC systems at Deer Run Elementary School.
If approved by voters, the Nov. 6 issue would cost an additional $213 per $100,000 in home value each year.
The 2011 levy would have cost voters $244 per $100,000 home value annually.
A list of cuts is expected to go before board of education members Sept. 10. The list could be approved by board members Sept. 24.