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Community Digest

Downey

March 14, 1985

The Downey Unified School District board will consider a request by parents to provide busing for secondary school students during coming budget discussions, president Walter Temple said.

The parents of students from northeastern Downey requested the service because students "have an extremely long way to go" on streets with inadequate sidewalks, Temple said. "They were very concerned with (the students') safety," he said.

The district suspended busing for secondary students in 1983 because of the program's high cost, said Deputy Supt. Donald Hart. Today, the district buses 10% of its 13,000 students, most of them elementary students and students in special education classes who pay an annual fee of $96 for the service. Students participating in after-school sports at the district's two high schools and four middle schools pay $45 yearly for bus service.

Even with $143,000 in fees and a $321,000 subsidy from the state, the district spent $170,000 on busing during the 1983-84 school year, Hart said. Money for reinstatement of busing to secondary school students would come from funds for instructional supplies, he said.

However, Temple said he believed a reorganization of bus routes could solve the problem. A centralized bus stop at a neighborhood school, instead of stops every three blocks as in the past, might address parents' concerns without great expense to the district, he said.

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