FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, Il (KMOV.com) -- Hundreds more Metro East school children will be walking to school this fall after a local school district slashed its budget for bus transportation by 50 percent.
It’s the latest result of the fallout from a state in massive debt.
Parents in the Grant-Illini School District in Fairview Heights found out today that the cuts affect elementary and middle school students..
Children living less than a mile-and a-half from their schools will not get bus transportation.
Parents tell News 4, the decision is putting their kids in danger.
“I guess the only other alternative is for them to walk or ride bicycles, but to me that’s not an option,” said Grant-Illini student parent Jason Lane. “You never know who’s out there these days, who’s watching, to me it’s not an option.”
But district officials say it was the only option to protect teachers.
“If we were to continue down that road and kept the bussing at the current level without the state reimbursement, essentially the district would go down a road that we would wind up bankrupt, and then we’re cutting teachers instead of busses,” said Superintendent Matt Stines. Stines says he’s following state guidelines. He says new bus routes will include students that live closer to the school, if their walk is considered hazardous.