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Community Digest

Montebello : Board Cancels Bus Service for Displaced Suva Students

March 19, 1992

The Montebello Unified School District board has scrapped bus service for 750 elementary school students who have been transferred to a temporary campus while their neighborhood school undergoes renovation.

Parents will have to provide their own transportation to a school of portable classrooms at the corner of Garfield and Gage avenues in Bell Gardens. The temporary school is about a half-mile northwest of Suva Elementary, the students' neighborhood school.

The action cuts only $12,000 from a $101.5-million budget, but board members said they must save every dollar possible to keep afloat the financially troubled school district.

The explanation did not satisfy about 25 angry parents who attended a March 5 board meeting. "Lots of us are broke right now, but we don't tell our children we can't feed them this week," parent Mary Vierra said.

Board member Frank Serrano cast the only dissenting vote. He argued that buses used for other schools could be shared with Suva children for little more than the cost of gasoline, about $700. Neither the staff nor the other board members agreed with Serrano's cost estimate.

Officials said they will seek outside funding from Bell Gardens, private donors and organizations to provide buses for the 250 children who live about a mile from the temporary school. Officials expect the $1 million renovation work to last until May.

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