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Senator considers cutting school bus costs

Senator considers cutting school bus costs



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SALT LAKE CITY -- A Utah senator thinks schools should consider eliminating busing for high school students as a way to save money.

During a meeting of the Public Education Appropriation Subcommittee Monday, Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, said the state could save more than $70 million under such a plan.

Buttars said rural districts would still have to bus students, but that 75 percent of Utah's school children live along the Wasatch Front.

Stephen Ronnenkamp, superintendent of the Granite School District, admitted it could save a lot of money, but he also had his doubts.

"I worry about the kids who are really at risk without bus transportation," he said. "So there are a lot of other factors that I think ought to be looked at carefully."

Ronnenkamp told Buttars the state requires districts to bus students. Another committee member, Sen. Howard Stephenson, R-Draper, said he's considering a bill that would remove requirements like that, at least for a couple of years, to allow school districts more flexibility in meeting budget challenges.

E-mail: mgiauque@ksl.com

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Marc Giauque

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