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Uphill, In the Snow, Both Ways

Elimination of bus routes would mean 103 students will have to hoof it to Skippack Elementary School

One of the many cost cutting measures in the proposed Perkiomen Valley School District operating budget for 2012-13 would result in a little more exercise for 103 grade school students in Skippack.

The district is preparing to eliminate two school bus routes, a move that would save about $58,000 per year after accounting for the expected cost of hiring part-time crossing guards. Students once served by stops on those bus routes will have to walk to Skippack Elementary School.

The eliminated bus stops are in the Wincrest Estates development, the Fairlawn Court townhouse community, the Harmony Towne Woods subdivision, and the Monroe Court townhome community. All the affected students live within about a quarter-mile of the school.

The district built a sidewalk from the intersection of Mount Airy and Heckler Roads in 2004 so that students in those areas could walk to the school, but the plan was never implemented.

Board member Gerry Barnehifer asked whether the school district had told the parents of the affected students had been notified, "so that students aren't waiting at the bus stop until 10 a.m." when school resumes on August 29.

Superintendent Clifford Rogers said that students' families would be notified once the elimination of the bus routes was final, but that no communication had yet gone out to the affected neighborhoods.

The school board tabled a motion to approve the 2012-13 operating budget until its meeting next Monday, June 18. The district continues to negotiate with its three employee unions on a six-month wage freeze.

Lynne Zangara June 12, 2012 at 04:54 PM
I live right across the street from the school and am very happy to have my son walk to school. He will be entering Kindergarten in the fall. One of the reason's we enjoy our neighborhood so much is the fact that it is so close to the school. Kids would benefit from the exercise of walking to school as well. I welcome the notion of cutting the bus route to our neighborhood!
David Powell (Editor) June 12, 2012 at 05:00 PM
I was discussing this with a reader who emailed me this morning. He and I both walked a half-mile or more to either our school or a bus stop every day. As I said to him, I suspect the main reservation (if any) that some parents might have is fear of child predators along the route, not that the distance is too far for their child to walk.

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