School Buses Could Be Target For Wash. Budget Cuts

Washington may eliminate its funding for school buses as part of its plan to address a $2 billion budget deficit.
by , | November 4, 2011

School buses could be a victim of budget cuts in Washington, the Associated Press reports, as the $220 million expense might prove too tempting for lawmakers with a $2 billion hole to fill.

Gov. Chris Gregoire floated the idea of eliminating state support for bus services in a long list of suggestions to address the budget deficit in an upcoming special session, the AP reports. Bob Riley, executive director of the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, told the news agency that Washington would be the first state to completely cut state dollar for school transportation.

Other states, such as California and Colorado, have reduced but not eliminated state funding for busing, according to the AP. State pay between 30 percent and 100 percent of the costs for school transportation. In Washington, the state is responsible for 67 percent.

Seattle school administrators, who would be hit hardest by the cuts, are brainstorming ideas like neighborhood school assignment to reduce the burden for buses, according to the news agency.

There is also debate among state lawmakers about whether the state is mandated to support school transportation as part of a "basic education" under the state constitution, the AP reports.

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