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Herriman parents angry over bagged school bus route

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Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

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HERRIMAN — Back to school time, and it's not education on some parents' minds in the Jordan School District — it's busing, or the lack of busing options. They're upset because the district cut one of its elementary school's bus routes in Herriman.

Parents of 5-, 6- and 7-year-old children attending Butterfield Canyon Elementary School say their children are too little to be walking more than a mile to school each day.

"There's no way I'd let them walk to school. It's just not safe," Herriman resident Amber Williams said of her 5-year-old twins.

It's doable, yes, but it's too far for the little kids. That's one of our main concerns.

–Janet Olander, Herriman resident

"It's doable, yes, but it's too far for the little kids," Herriman resident Janet Olander added. "That's one of our main concerns."

Olander said a walking path was installed in the neighborhood that cut the walking distance to school to under the state limit of 1 ½ miles. She and other parents are now petitioning for help.

"It's absolutely frustrating, but what's worse is I feel like they're not listening," said Jennie Cowan, also a resident of Herriman.

But Jordan District's transportation director, Herb Jensen, says he is listening. While he'd also prefer the children to ride the bus, this particular route would cost up to $75,000 — money the district doesn't have.

But Jensen has offered up an option: If there are empty spots on the bus for the school year, parents can petition to have their kids picked up.

"It costs the same amount to drive a full school bus in to the school (as) it does (a) half-full (bus)," Jensen said.

But the parents say that's only a temporary fix to a permanent problem that is bigger than busing.

"When the district can afford a $9.2 million for its administrators, but can't afford busing for its students, that tells me there's a problem," said Richard Stolworthy, a resident of Herriman.

Jensen estimates there are 80 unfunded bus routes in the Jordan School District that, if reinstated, would cost the taxpayers another $3 million. But the parents KSL News spoke with dismissed that fact, saying the school board needs to re-evaluate its priorities.


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Lori Prichard


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