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FUSD Talks Publicly About Decision To Stop Bus Service For Some Middle And High School Students Starting January 4th

The Flagstaff Unified School District’s Governing Board met Tuesday night, with Superintendent Michael Penca talking about the decision to cut school bus availability to most middle school and high school students, who live within the city limits of Flagstaff, starting January 4th. Students in Doney Park, Kachina Village, Bellemont and other areas outside the city won’t be affected.  The decision comes after a Department of Public Safety investigation into overcrowding of buses. Penca talked about the violation DPS found saying they noted the district violated a state law about maximum capacity on school buses and “at times violated (part five of the law) which meant some of the students, parts of them, may have been in the aisle” while the bus was moving. Travis is a parent who spoke at the meeting and was upset saying, “so i’m not sure what’s worse. The fact that you guys intentionally packed these kids on for years and didn’t do anything about it, or say anything about it, or you were ignorant about it and didn’t know.” He adds, “and now you are pushing the responsibility of the burden onto the parents and there’s a lot of parents that will have to make a lot of sacrifices and changes just to get these kids to school. I wonder how many kids you’re going to lose because of this decision.” FUSD says if students need transportation to school, they can use the Mountain Line public transportation service, in which FUSD will pay for bus passes for those who need them. Board member Kristine Pavlik says she is on the board’s ad-hoc committee on transportation and says they will continue to work to come up with ideas to make the transition go smoother. Penca says the decision will affect around 600 FUSD students.

To watch last night’s governing board session, click here.  Click on the second video that says 12-12-2023.  The discussion on the bus situation, plus public comment, is between 1:52:00 and 2:33:00.

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