Faced with a "multi-million dollar budget gap" in 2013-14, Ossining Union Free School District officials are proposing an increase in the minimum distance from the school from which students can utilize busing as one of the options to help offset costs.
"We achieved significant savings in the transportation budget last year, but in order to reduce costs further we must change the busing limits,” new Superintendent Raymond Sanchez told the public in a flyer. "This is one of many areas being reduced or modified in an effort to close the budget gap."
The proposed changes are:
Kindergarten to third grade: stay at 0.5 mile limit
Fourth grade: drop to 0.5 miles from one mile limit
Fifth grade: stay at one mile limit
Sixth through eighth grade: increase to 1.5 miles from one mile limit
Ninth through 12 grade: increase to two miles from 1.5 mile limit
School officials estimate that approximately $413,262 can be saved in the coming budget year if these proposed changes are accepted by the public.
"The proposal will result in the increase in the mileage for some families," Sanchez wrote to the community. "However, it should be noted that this does include a decrease in the mileage limits for grade 4."
Click the attached .pdfs to see if your street is affected by the proposal.
On February 20, the board of education voted to bring the proposal to a public vote, which is slated to take place on Tuesday, April 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Ossining High School gymnasium.
Alita Zuber, the district's assistant superintendent, said in an episode of Inside Ossining Schools, "We have been consistently looking for savings that don't have a direct impact on the classroom and this is one area that we have identified that would help us to find savings that don't directly impact the classroom."
According to a community flyer discussing the transportation proposal, "Other program cuts or changes under consideration include modified sports, Pre-K, teaching assistants, support staff, guidance staff, high school electives, before and after school programs and summer school."
Zuber said the current proposed budget assumes the measure will be approved by voters.
There will be two Coffee Talks to discuss the proposal on Tuesday, March 19 in the Claremont Elementary School cafeteria—one at 9:30 a.m. and one at 6:30 p.m.