Mesa County Valley School District 51's bus routes are changing for this upcoming school year, which means more kids are going to have to walk or find other ways to school.
The school district was forced to make cuts to meet the budget this year. One of those was to bus routes, adding a mile to the maximum walking distance for students. Elementary school students will have to walk if they live within two miles driving distance of the school, up from one mile a year ago. Also, middle and high schools will have their distance increased from two to three miles.
The school district says this will save about $600,000 which is roughly equivalent to about twelve teaching positions.
"Making that cut to busing, while we recognize it's inconvenient for families, it keeps that money in the classrooms and keeps those cuts away from the classrooms," explained D51 spokesperson Christy McGee.
Officials are urging the public to watch out for more kids on the roads this year. They are also urging parents to find other means of getting their kids to school like car pooling and walking routes that are safe or even supervised by adults.
The district is also asking parents to go to their website to check the bus routes, so there will be no confusion on the first day of school. On that website, parents can also fill out a form regarding safety of walking routes. The school district will evaluate any concerns parents might have.