Families raise concerns about Springfield Public Schools bus policy

Published: Aug. 14, 2019 at 5:00 PM CDT
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Some families within the Springfield Public School District are questioning why their child does not have access to free transportation to and from school.

Elementary and middle school students within the district who live more than one-and-a-half miles from school are "entitled" to free bus transportation.

Stephen Hall, the communications director for the district, said the school's policy stems from a statute put on place by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary education.

"That is used by a foundation for school districts and a guide for all school districts throughout the state." he said. "Springfield Public Schools as part of our budget allocation has gone even beyond that to provide transportation additionally to more students at the kindergarten through 8th grade level."

High school students who live more than three-and-a-half miles from the school are given the option to ride the bus for free.

Some parents who spoke to us said letting their child walk across busy roads, like a major highway, to get to school has them feeling uneasy. Families do have the option to pay a fee for the child to have bus services.

"Pay to ride is $297 per semester, but for those in free and reduced it would be half of that ,about $148 per semester," said Hall. "Again, there are a number of things we can do if someone is concerned about that cost."

He said if families do have concerns, they should reach out to the school principal, counselor, or even the school crossing protection committee.

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