DESERT HOT SPRINGS – Thousands of children in the valley take the bus to get to school
“I ride the bus to Desert Hot Springs High School everyday,” says Rita Soto, Desert Hot Springs High School Junior.
However, next year Rita’s ride and the ride for hundreds of other students may be over. This long walk is the result of the state’s economic crisis.
“It’s difficult for everyone in our school community,” says Jim Novak, Palm Springs Unified School District assistant superintendent of business services.
Local school districts still don’t have a budget for next school year, but it won’t be good. Palm Springs Unified School District is preparing for the worst by compiling a long list of potential cuts.
The district already lost $11 million, and another $6 million to $12 million in cuts could be on the horizon. One way to deal with the budget cuts is to cut bus routes.
“Some parents will need to be creative and carpool,” says Novak.
Across the valley, hundreds of students rely on the bus to get to school. PSUSD is considering eliminating this transportation for high school students. If they do, it could be a long trek for some students to get to school.
“It would take me about two hours to walk to school,” says Soto. “I need the bus.”
However, the bus is a very costly ride for schools.
“It’s very expensive and it’s not in the classroom or not direct education so we have to cut it,” says Novak.
With more and deeper cuts coming, district leaders can only hope students and education aren’t left behind.
“When you don’t have support from the state, it’s frustrating,” says Novak.
PSUSD will hold a board meeting on July 21st at 2:30 to discuss the possible cuts. Desert Sands Unified School District is also considering reducing bus routes for next year.