Letters: Missing the bus

At the end of the day, the board made some tough decisions on cuts, and busing was one of them

School buses are a contentious issue.

Editor, The News:

Re: On the buses (News Views, June 3).

I must concur with the editorial and the comments of trustee Susan Carr that the board has been “thrown under the bus” by the government and the MLAs.

I have been vocal these past two years in protesting the cuts to busing by the board, as it has a direct impact on my family and those around me on Thornhill, as our kids and grandkids ride the bus to Whonnock elementary.

At the end of the day, the board made some tough decisions on cuts, and busing was one of them.

I do wish the board had followed the wishes of trustee Ken Clarkson and joined Vancouver in refusing to submit a balanced budget. If every board had done this, then perhaps the message would have been clear to Victoria that our world-class public education system is rapidly being taken apart due to underfunding.

Having said all of that, I believe people must now realize that the amount being doled out, cap in hand, from Victoria will not restore busing. It might have done so had this return of money occurred a few months ago, but the current bus company has already made plans to move on, due to the cancellation of the contract, and to restore a bus system (find a property, allocate buses and hire drivers) will cost a lot more than $632,000.

Many families have already made plans to transfer their kids to other schools that they can get transportation to in September and to have to go through all of this disruption again will add further stress on the kids.

It is time the school board and district move on, and they do not need meddlesome MLAs telling them how to do their jobs. The MLAs have trouble enough doing their own.

Ian Strachan, retired principal

Maple Ridge

 

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