Monday, January 14, 2013
The background: During the recession, CMS added 45 minutes to the time elementary students spend in class and moved some schools to a late schedule, 9:15 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Those changes let the district rearrange bus routes and save $4 million a year, with some buses serving four schools on staggered schedules.
This happened before Morrison was hired in April. He says he started hearing about those changes right away, and learned that while some like the changes, the parents and teachers who don't like them really dislike them. He tapped a group of parents and staff to talk about the issue, and because they're still working, Morrison said he isn't ready to close the door on the possibility of 2013-14 bell schedule changes. (Update 6:15 p.m.: Read the minutes of the group's first formal meeting on Paper Trail.)
But Morrison noted that not only would his staff have to put back the $4 million saved, but the cost for restoring the old hours and bus routes could be $7 million to $11 million in county money. That's because reducing the efficiency of busing reduces the state reimbursement. In other words: Add back the routes at your own expense.
So the question becomes: Is that the priority for Morrison and the school board if they can get a few million extra dollars from county commissioners? Morrison may be keeping his options open, but I'd place a bet on "no."
Posted by Ann Doss Helms at 6:00 AM