School Bus Schedule Changes Will Be Funded by the Seattle Department of Transportation

Issues about which bus schedules work best for students and families, and how changes to the school bus system should be funded, came to a head in Seattle this week.

June 15, 2017, 12:00 PM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


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Hayat Norimine reports: "After council members Bruce Harrell and Tim Burgess opposed using the Families and Education Levy to fund a new school bus system, council members went back to the drawing board—and came up with using Seattle Department of Transportation funds instead."

The two-tier system would simplify the times for the bus system (8 and 9 am) compared to the current three-tier system (7:55, 8:45, and 9:35 am). The current system has been in place for a year, after school officials switched the schedules to better fit students' sleeping patterns and improve engagement during the school day. "Officials and parents said switching the schedules, again, to a two-tier system would better accommodate working families, especially those with kids in multiple grades," according to Norimine.

The opposition to using funding from the Families and Education Levy came from concern that the levy is intended for programs that close the opportunity gap for children in poverty and people of color.

As of this writing, a decision about funding still needed to be made. [Update: the City Council approved the funding and schedule changes.]

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