Englewood resident Alyssa Gilger doesn’t own a vehicle, so she takes light rail to her job next to the Capitol building in Denver. Her fourth-grade son at Clayton Elementary School takes the bus to …
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Englewood resident Alyssa Gilger doesn’t own a vehicle, so she takes light rail to her job next to the Capitol building in Denver.
Her fourth-grade son at Clayton Elementary School takes the bus to school every day. When the Englewood Schools transportation department announced May 17 that it was discontinuing bus service to Clayton next school year, anxiety crept up on her.
She said she didn’t have anyone who could take him to school.
“Most of my neighbors don’t have children, so it’s not like he can carpool,” Gilger said. “My only other option would be to get up early and take public transportation and walk down to the school. It would add about two hours to my day, and for my son, he’s going to get less sleep.”
Gilger was not alone in her concern over the situation. Numerous parents expressed their concerns about possibly losing the school bus service, prompting school district leadership to continue the Clayton Elementary bus for at least one more year.
“Getting kids to school safely is extremely important. Some families have come to rely on this bus route, and I’m glad we will be able to continue it for at least the 2019-2020 school year,” said Clayton Principal Jenny Buster.
The school district blamed Englewood School Board policy, “budgetary restraints,” other district obligations and Colorado state law as its reasons for its original decision to shut down the Clayton bus service. School transportation services are not required, according to the Colorado Constitution.
In a May 17 letter to parents, Kimberly DeHaven, supervisor of transportation for Englewood Schools, said Clayton Elementary students are the only students in the district receiving bus services in their own boundary lines. She said that Englewood School Board policy doesn’t require students to receive transportation services if they live within their own boundary lines.
DeHaven said Englewood Schools will continue to examine the Clayton Elementary School bus route and the feasibility of continuing it beyond 2019-20.
“Because of the state of school funding in Colorado, we often must make difficult decisions about how best to use funds,” DeHaven wrote in another letter to parents on May 21. “Considering that Clayton Elementary is the only elementary school that offers a bus service to students who live within its catchment area, eliminating this bus route was one way to conserve our resources and put them back in our schools.”
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