A fair ride?

JOED VIERA/ STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERChildren prepare to get on the bus for school. 

Lockport Board of Education have decided not to proceed with a plan to extend busing eligibility after a district financial official informed them of the costs involved. 

Deborah Coder, assistant superintendent of finance and management services, presented the board with financial estimates prepared by Kevin Love, the district's transportation consultant, showing how much it would cost to extend transportation eligibility to within half a mile of the school or to extend eligibility to everyone.

Coder said to extend the eligibility to within half a mile would cost $451,006, and for 100 percent eligibility it would cost $563,757. She noted that these costs would not receive state transportation aid. 

The proposals would have to be approved by voters.

Superintendent Michelle Bradley asked if the district's transportation provider, Ridge Road Express, would be able to staff an increased amount of buses. Coder noted that transportation providers do have trouble finding drivers, just like districts are having trouble finding teachers. 

Although most trustees agreed they would like to provide more transportation, they all felt the money would be better spent providing more educational services. 

"This board has been about providing services, whether it be counselors, special education. That's what we've been about," Board President John Linderman said.

Trustee Heather Hare acknowledged that some families might experience a hardship, but that the money is better spent providing a better education.

The board agreed not to move forward with the proposal. 

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