The Syracuse City School District has come to terms on an agreement with Centro that will let more children be bused to the district’s four high schools. Five hundred students who live between 1 1/2 and 2 miles from their schools will be able to get bus passes from the district instead of walking, which has been district policy up to now.
Centro Executive Director Frank Kobliski says a deal reached with the district to provide buses was a matter of logistics.
"We don’t have any extra buses in the fleet, so we had to do this with all of the existing routes, 30-some routes that serve the four city high schools each morning and each afternoon,” said Kobliski. “We needed to find out where there were empty seats, where the buses might be able to have routes extended or altered along the way.”
Syracuse School Superintendent Sharon Contreras admits a recent push by several students to lower the walk zone was key.
“The district had asked several times for assistance with this matter,” said Contreras. “But certainly when the students went to the microphone, it helped push others in the community to help support us.”
Contreras says this will not have an impact the budget, calling it only an issue of getting the buses. The question for the students who have been fighting this up to now, is when this will happen. Kobliski expects changes sometime in February, and the district is calling it mid-winter.
Either way, the students who have been fighting this aren’t happy with the time frame. They would like buses available in January. They also want the walk zone dropped even more, to 1 mile. Contrereas says the district will continue to look at the issue.