Hilliard Northwest News

School board

Guidelines set for 'impractical' busing requests

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

The Hilliard school board established a policy Sept. 23 allowing the district to decline requests to bus 20 or fewer students to a private or parochial school as "impractical."

The board chose to establish the policy in reaction to a state law requiring Ohio school districts that do not provide transportation to such schools to pay a stipend of $250 per student.

Terry Timlin, transportation coordinator for Hilliard City Schools, told board members the district surveyed other Ohio districts to determine that 20 is the best figure.

Hilliard currently buses about 560 students to 14 parochial schools and two private academies, as well as Tolles Career and Technical Center in Plain City.

Two private schools in Columbus, Helping Hands Center on Medary Avenue and Oakstone Academy on Cleveland Avenue, were added this year.

In the past, many factors were used to determine whether it was impractical to bus specific students, including the length of time needed to complete a route and the number of students, but the action Sept. 23 was the first to quantify by resolution a specific number deemed to be impractical, district spokeswoman Amanda Morris said.

District officials reported that 87 families, and a total of 136 students, currently receive a stipend of $250 in lieu of Hilliard transporting the children to an alternative school.

Timlin reported that, overall, the district transports about 8,350 students daily with 128 buses logging about 8,800 miles daily.

In other business Sept. 23, Superintendent John Marschhausen said he would deliver a State of the Schools address at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the McVey Innovative Learning Center at 5323 Cemetery Road.

Marschhausen said "a large part" of the address would focus on the learning opportunities available at the learning center that opened last month.

The superintendent's address will be streamed online.

Marschhausen also suggested changing the name of the district's audit and accountability committee to the business and finance committee, and expanding the number of its members to 15.

Following the regular meeting, board members held a closed executive session to discuss pending collective bargaining negotiations with two unions representing the district's certified and classified employees.

Contracts for the district's approximately 1,200 certified positions and 476 classified positions expire Dec. 31.

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