Ossining Students May See Increased Busing Limits

The school district estimates saving more than $400,000 next year if voters approve the proposal.

Faced with a "multi-million dollar budget gap" in 2013-14, Ossining Union Free School District officials are proposing an increase in the minimum distance from the school from which students can utilize busing as one of the options to help offset costs.

"We achieved significant savings in the transportation budget last year, but in order to reduce costs further we must change the busing limits,” new Superintendent Raymond Sanchez told the public in a flyer. "This is one of many areas being reduced or modified in an effort to close the budget gap."

The proposed changes are:

Kindergarten to third grade: stay at 0.5 mile limit

Fourth grade: drop to 0.5 miles from one mile limit

Fifth grade: stay at one mile limit

Sixth through eighth grade: increase to 1.5 miles from one mile limit

Ninth through 12 grade: increase to two miles from 1.5 mile limit

School officials estimate that approximately $413,262 can be saved in the coming budget year if these proposed changes are accepted by the public.

"The proposal will result in the increase in the mileage for some families," Sanchez wrote to the community. "However, it should be noted that this does include a decrease in the mileage limits for grade 4."

Click the attached .pdfs to see if your street is affected by the proposal.

On February 20, the board of education voted to bring the proposal to a public vote, which is slated to take place on Tuesday, April 16 from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the Ossining High School gymnasium.

Alita Zuber, the district's assistant superintendent, said in an episode of Inside Ossining Schools, "We have been consistently looking for savings that don't have a direct impact on the classroom and this is one area that we have identified that would help us to find savings that don't directly impact the classroom."

According to a community flyer discussing the transportation proposal, "Other program cuts or changes under consideration include modified sports, Pre-K, teaching assistants, support staff, guidance staff, high school electives, before and after school programs and summer school."

Zuber said the current proposed budget assumes the measure will be approved by voters.

There will be two Coffee Talks to discuss the proposal on Tuesday, March 19 in the Claremont Elementary School cafeteria—one at 9:30 a.m. and one at 6:30 p.m.

Lisa Buchman March 14, 2013 at 04:33 PM
There's a list of affected streets posted with this story. How will this affect your kids?
Rods March 15, 2013 at 12:00 PM
our memory is short. in 1996 ? bauman bus transported our kids. parked their buses at ossining waterfront. vaillage took property by eminent domain so buses had to leave. went to peekskill. ossining village board cost school $250,000 MORE for bussing. waterfront property remains vacant.
Lanning Taliaferro March 15, 2013 at 01:03 PM
You can also learn more from this video by the school district http://vimeo.com/61094384
Kristyn Weeks March 15, 2013 at 01:35 PM
This article unfortunately does not address the potential negative impact a yes vote would have for the Ossining community. The most obvious and most serious is that hundreds of children who would be affected live in areas that do not have sidewalks or even shoulders, forcing children to walk IN dangerous roads (rt 133, rt 9 in the area south of Arcadian, Hawkes avenue) and crossing rt 9A. Additionally the increase in foot traffic and car traffic would have an environmental impact, particularly in the neighborhoods and streets surrounding the middle school and the high school. There are already significant traffic issues in these areas, without the addition of hundreds of more cars. Property values would likely be decreased for those living in the affected areas as well. I also believe that this will be a change that will likely never be reversed. I know the district is exploring other non classroom areas for cost savings and is slated to receive more state aid than was anticipated (in excess of $800,000 more than last year) The potential savings of $400,000 for a budget in excess of $110 million dollars needs to be carefully weighed against all of the potential downsides of this proposal.


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