Springfield Public Schools cuts busing for 3 magnet programs

The district says it hopes to offer busing to the three magnet programs by the end of the first quarter.
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 8:53 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield public schools recently cut transportation services for three Springfield magnet programs because of a driver shortage. Parents with students in these programs received notification.

The three magnet choice programs affected are the WOLF School, Ag Academy, and The Academy of Exploration. The decision impacts 180 children.

“It was pretty shocking, and I was at work when they called, so I had to kind of digest what they were telling me,” said Parent Bethanee Bartrand.

“We do wish we could have made the decision earlier than now, but we just didn’t feel like we had accurate enough routing information,” said John Mulford, Deputy Superintendent of Operations.

The district officials blame the ongoing bus driver shortage.

”I’m concerned about us being able to handle the driving back and forth because my husband and I share cars,” said Bartrand. “It’s kind of a difficult situation when you don’t have extra transportation.”

SPS says said no other busing cuts will be made this year.

According to the district, it needs 128 bus drivers. The district employs only 112.

“One of the challenges is that bus routes are not finalized until the end of July,” said Mulford.

Deputy Superintendent John Mulford says the district is working closely with families affected and is even looking into a contracted bus service.

”I want to emphasize we have more drivers now than we have had at any point during the last year,” said Mulford. “We continue to see applicants, and we are very encouraged that we will get to where we need to be.“

The district says it hopes to offer busing to the three magnet programs by the end of the first quarter--options will be communicated to the families in a week or so.

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