Galt Joint Union High School District students and their famlies should not expect to see any change in their transportation services for the remainder of the school year.
Other districts across California are being forced to cut bus service due to the mid-year cuts announced by the state earlier this week. Transportation is among the items targeted by the state's $1 billion in mid-year education cuts due to a decline in revenue.
Lodi Unified School District will not be making any changes to this year's budget, either, Chief Business Official Tim Hern said Friday.
While he added that the district can absorb the transportation cut for the remainder of the year, he is more concerned with what the governor's budget will bring and whether the transportation cut will become permanent.
If it does, that would mean up to $4.8 million will be needed from the general fund to pay for transportation, according to Hern.
"Taking hundreds of millions of dollars from our schools, on top of the $18 billion in cuts they have already suffered, will only make life harder for students in California's chronically underfunded schools," state Superintendent Tom Torkalson said in a prepared statement.
The state Department of Education predicted eliminating bus service in some rural areas will leave those students without a safe way to get to school.
"Children will lose child care, students will lose the opportunity for a college education, and our overcrowded classrooms will continue to be jammed with 35 to 40 students," Torklason said. "That's not the kind of education or state we want. This is not the California our children deserve."
But Audrey Kilpatrick, chief business official for the Galt high school district, said staff there is committed to transporting its students to and from school.
Although final figures are unavailable from the state, Kilpatrick said funding will go down by about $58 per student. School districts receive funding based on student attendance.
Galt Joint Union Elementary School District is also planning to absorb the mid-year cuts, so any reductions will be put off until the 2012-13 school year.
"This will make the 2012-13 cuts larger, but it will keep the education system in 2011-12 from being disrupted," said Debbie Schmidt, the district's director of business services.
Staff there will wait for the Governor's January budget proposal to make any concrete decisions regarding cuts in any of the years, she added.
That is expected Jan. 10.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.