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Posted on Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:55 a.m.

Don't cut bus service, Ann Arbor Skyline parents and students say

By Tom Perkins

Karen Peterson picks her daughter up and drops her off at Skyline High School every day, so the loss of bus service wouldn't affect her personally.

But Peterson said she generally opposes cuts to education, and doesn’t think the Ann Arbor school district should eliminate busing for high school students.

“Just because I don’t need it doesn’t mean somebody else doesn’t,” she said. On Wednesday, the district unveiled a proposed budget that includes eliminating transportation for high school students and cutting after-school shuttles at the district's middle schools.

As school let out at Skyline on Thursday, parents picking up their kids from school, students boarding buses and student driving home from school almost unanimously expressed opposition to the idea.


Ann Arbor high school students will have to find their own way to and from school if budget proposals unveiled Wednesday are approved.

Melanie Maxwell

Linda Haines, who also drops off and picks up her child every day, said the loss of bus service "is going to be a problem'' for many parents.

“I have a lot of friends who work or have situations where they can’t do what I’m doing,” she said. “How are their kids supposed to get to school?”

The district is attempting to close a budget deficit of approximately $15.6 million, and introduced a number of proposals — including eliminating 70 teaching positions — to cut costs. Interim Superintendent Robert Allen said eliminating transportation would save the district about $1.482 million.

According to Michigan law, school districts are not required to transport regular-education children if the school board decides against providing the service. However, the school district is obligated to provide for the transportation of a special education student if a committee has determined the transportation is necessary.

Skyline junior Ben Kaldjian said he takes the bus every day, and would likely have to figure out a car-pool arrangement if transportation were cut. He said he didn’t think eliminating busing was a good idea.

“It’s a lot more efficient to take the bus and it saves on gas,” he said.

His friend, junior foreign exchange student Rafael Oriol, can’t get a license and said he isn’t sure what he would do if taking the bus weren’t an option.

“For me, the bus is really important,” he said.

Several students said they didn’t know how they would get to school, but the responsibility would ultimately fall on their parents.

“My mom would have to drive me, but I don’t think she would be too happy about it,” sophomore Carmen Flescher, 16, said.

According to district estimates, about 4,700 students at the high school level are eligible to take the bus, but only about one-third use transportation. On Wednesday, Allen said there are other options for high school students to get to school, such as using the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority buses, car-pooling or driving themselves.

Sophomore Sanna Fraleigh, 16, was giving her brother Max Fraleigh, 15, and her friend, Tanner Gerhart a ride home on Thursday.

Sanna Fraleigh said she drives to school except on days when she runs out of gas money and has to take the bus, which is about once a week. She said she would have to beg her mom for a ride on days when she couldn’t drive.

“The buses are important — they’re essential,” said Max Fraleigh, who added that he rides the bus about three times a week. He said he would be doing a lot more skateboarding if transportation is cut.

Gerhart said he takes the bus several times a week and opposed cutting transportation.

“That’s a really dumb idea,” he said. “I know a lot of kids who take the bus every day.”

Several parents waiting for their kids in front of Skyline, including Rob Knisley of Saline, said they live beyond the area served by buses, so the change wouldn’t have any effect on them.

Amber Osborne is a nanny who picks up a child from school most days. She also said she wouldn’t be impacted, but didn’t think cutting transportation was a good idea.

“It wouldn’t be good for a lot of kids who can’t get rides,” she said.



Fri, Apr 29, 2011 : 12:31 a.m.

I know that money is really tight in AAPS right now and I know that cuts are going to be made but cutting the bus service is not the way to do it. Not everyone can afford to drive their kids to school. This is just so elitist and wrong. Yes, some people can afford to drive their children to school everyday but the fact of the matter is that many families can't. As for the argument to move to AATA buses, that wouldn't be free would it? So again we have a problem. Cutting the bus service is an option clearly favors those don't need free transportation to school and ignores those who cannot afford to pay for their children to get to school in the morning. Everyone, regardless of economic status has the right to a free education in this country. I don't have an answer for the budget issues in the AAPS but I do know that cutting the bus service to the high schools is not a solution.


Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

Bikes? Get a used moped. Don't need a license. Gets you there faster. Winter may be a problem but the rest of the year is set. Maybe we should not have school in the winter. Switch the off seasons.


Thu, Apr 28, 2011 : 3:39 p.m.

buy your kids bikes, teach them the rules of the road! car pool! take this opportunity to educate them on how the AATA works. We all need to make sacrifices and changes in this economy. Take this opportunity to utilize other existing resources, and teach your children how to operate independently! So in 20 years we have tax payers with a rounded understanding of services and why they exist and how to be resourceful!


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 10:49 p.m.

Both parents often have to leave for work and don't have time to get their child to school or leave work early enough to pick them up. It's very tough if there is not a stay at home mom/dad to shuffle kids around. No busses is not a good option for these parents.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 5:11 p.m.

Those who want to cut athletics instead should bear this in mind. Athletics are probably the best dropout prevention program the schools have.


Fri, Apr 29, 2011 : 1:53 a.m.

I am a recent AAPS graduate and was an athlete all through high school. I understand the value of athletics in high school. However, if it becomes and issue of preventing dropouts versus actually getting kids to school, I fully support cutting back on athletic spending or cutting athletics entirely before cutting bus service. Students who can't even get to school are much more likely to dropout than students who can't play sports.


Mon, Apr 25, 2011 : 9:19 p.m.

Gild - How so? A tiny proportion, probably under 10% of the student body at the high schools participates in varsity athletics. The "30% of our student body participates" propaganda does not correct for students on multiple teams / multiple seasons. And those who do must maintain a C or better average to play. How can sports matter to potential dropouts?


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 2:43 p.m.

Providing bus service should be removed from the responsibilities of the City of Ann Arbor and school system. This service should be outsourced and parents can contract the service privately and pay for the service if needed. The more kids you have, the more you should pay. Simple as that.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 4 p.m.

Sure, piece of cake. If we follow this plan, as usual the families with enough money will have whatever transportation services they want or need, and the poorer families in our midst will suffer. Debling, probably you'd be happier living/working in New Hampshire, which has no personal income tax and which has weaker schools as a result.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:52 p.m.

Why is it my responsibility to make sure your kid gets to school and paying for their bus? Schools ... focus your money on teaching. Parents, figure out how to get your kids to school. If you can't pay to get them to basically free school, why did you figure you could have kids in the first place? Basic responsibility and common sense.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 3:24 a.m.

While money should always be focused on teaching and learning this generally implies that the students can actually attend school safely. Who said it was your responsibility anyway? Truthfully it is the responsibility of the school board and more importantly the state's government to accommodate for low income families public education rights. Unfortunately our current state government is working tirelessly to cut school funding and cut taxes for those who make the most money in our state (large businesses). Now I am not saying that the tax cuts are not helpful for our states economy but has no one thought about the main reasons that families move to certain areas? GOOD PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Yes those people would would potentially be getting jobs, if the trickle down effect method actually worked, would want their children to attend decent schools. Considering that those people also WORK full-time, as many people in Ann Arbor do, their children have to be provided adequate transportation to those schools. So Gov. Snyder and the rest of this state should consider deeply the motivational reasons that people ACTUALLY have to move to a state instead of surface deep "solutions" to age old problems. @Mike D.: Isn't is so sad to think how little people consider the problems of others? @louisrenault: many parents are as picky as you are about which schools their children go to...which is why more money should be invested in public education. That would really bring in the people! Also the proposed benefits of going to Skyline will be a mute point if the school is suddenly close due to budget cuts. Sign the mileage and sign the petition!


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 10:31 p.m.

debling - Tomorrow is supposed to be a nice day. Tell you what. Ride your bike from the Eastern Corner of Ford and Plymouth-Ann Arbor to Huron High School. Tell me you would feel safe having a child that is 14 walk that route. Not everyone has the ability to take their children to a school that starts at 7:30 and lets out at 3 - Some people have to work. The district does not allow students to wait on school property after school, So tell me along that route, where can they safely go to wait for a pick up at say 5:15 PM? This whole busing issue is designed to make people feel that they have to vote for more millage and put more pressure on Lansing. Cutting the administration down to size would save way more than this, and cutting sports more than double this savings.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 7:05 p.m.

I *did* figure out how to get my kids to school. Carefully chose location of house. Carefully chose which schools. Made sure schools were all close enough kids could self-transport if/when required. Then AAPS school board decided to gerrymander my NE neighborhood so that, according to district's own Liz Margolis, Sky would not be essentially all white. The result is that instead of attending Huron, within walking distance for us, now we're supposed to attend Sky, a 14-mile round trip. Not our fault school is now too far to walk. But now that AAPS has forced kids to attend this school, in a location dangerous to walkers at best, AAPS has an obligation to provide safe transportation for all students who need it. As others have said, the families that will suffer under this cruel plan are those with smaller incomes, or one parent, or multiple jobs. It is indecent of AAPS school board to foist this plan on families that have few or no alternatives.

Mike D.

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 6:46 p.m.

The ugliness of Republican greed never ceases to astound me.

Tony Livingston

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 2:58 a.m.

The bus system is poorly managed and that is why the high school buses are quite empty. The bus comes to our neighborhood at 5:45 AM, a full 55 minutes before school starts. In the afternoon, it leaves Pioneer 5 minutes after school gets out and arrives here less than 10 minutes later. No surprise that it is mostly empty in the morning and very full in the afternoons.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 2:02 a.m.

Typically, I see those comments on here about how great these cuts are. Today, reality is setting in. If the special education millage doesn't pass, the cuts will be over $20 million next year. There is much truth to what people are writing. These cuts will fall disproportionately on single parents and parents that must work. The greatest lie made by Snyder was that just by teachers paying 20% of health care would the budget cuts be largely rectified. As everyone can now see, this isn't the case. Teachers will pay 20%, busing will be cut, programs will be cut, positions will be cut (which also means larger class sizes) etc. Beyond this, it doesn't affect Snyder at all. His child goes to Greenhills. He has the money to pay $18K a year for tuition. How many of you do?


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 2:32 p.m.

a2flow - The budgets being proposed by the BoE, including this busing cut we are discussing, does NOT assume that teachers will become responsible for paying the 20% of their health insurance expenses. That proposal has not yet passed through the MI legislature, and AAPS is apparently assuming that it won't. Or they may be assuming that. like the increase to 3% contribution for pensions, the State public Service Commission will undo that ruling if it does pass.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:59 a.m.

I don't know how they think us Bus Driver's and Monitor's will be able to support our families. Our pay was already cut and for some the Insurance tripled. I went from $18.09 to $15.75 and my Insurance went from $48.98 a paycheck to $128.00 a paycheck. Why are we the ones who get picked on when the district runs in to money problems? And we have lost all of our paid days off. Oh and lets not forget about the $4000.00 deductible we have to pay besides our regular premium thats taken out of our checks. So, if anyone is wondering how things are since the change from AAPS to WISD thats how they are financially and its killing us. And the turn over rate is just crazy because they cant keep people because of the low rate of pay and the Insurance costs.

David Briegel

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 3:14 a.m.

You need a better union!


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 2:31 a.m.

{{Robin}} My family has been thinking of you and the other drivers often, and the other staff who have been hard hit. My kids miss the AAPS staff members they knew and trusted. New $uperintendent, not so much.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

jcj- 1. In 1960 my parents had to go out of town for a funeral, they asked their friend to take care of me. she did not know the rule and gave me a bag for school lunch at Bach they had to find a place for me to eat, they where not happy for me to be there. i will allway renember that. 2. I think the hot lunch at 1946 was for junior high and high school. 3. One other thing, when you went to school did you see any busses for children to school or to home? When I was at Bach the only time I saw a bus was for trips. That is the big issue.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 4:23 a.m.

I walked to school at Haisley and Fritz. Took the bus to school at Lakewood. And took the bus to Forsythe and Pioneer. I cannot find any mention of the school lucnh program ever being for junior high and high school only.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

When AAPS began plans to build what became Skyline, many pointed out that the chosen location made it nearly impossible for students to get to school except via car/bus. Location was isolated, approaches on foot were very difficult / unsafe. AAPS assured us that all was well. Next, when AAPS was thinking about gerrymandering the NE part of town into Skyline, a distance of roughly 7 miles as the crow flies and more on city streets, again many pointed out that that distance and dangerous approach required motorized transportation. AAPS again assured us all was well. When AAPS finally announced redistricting lines, and the preposterous 7-mile trip to school (each way) from NE became a reality, those of us in NE pointed out -- with Powerpoint, letters, diagrams, maps -- that this would mean monstrous fuel costs, to AAPS, or to parents, or both. AAPS again assured us all was well. No need to worry. Gas not a problem. Bus maintenance -- not a problem. Salaries of bus drivers and bus maintainers -- all, not a problem. Now, largely the same incompetent board has discovered that gas ain't free -- that it is costing us an arm and a leg to get kids to this school. The same board that decided to up the incoming super's salary by 100K before they'd even *met* the candidates. The solution? Vote, people, vote. Time to get rid of this crew, which refuses to look reality in the face, and is costing us a fortune as a result.

Madman Is Back

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1 a.m.

it is difficult to take serious that the cuts proposed have any creditbility in light of the fact that those proposing them are the most incompeent and lazy individuals in our school system. Cut Mike Madison and combind Dicken with Lawton school. You could cut $145,000 from the budget and at the same time improve the quality of education at Dicken School. Oh, no you can't do that since Mr. Madison is also Prez of the Prinicapal's Union! It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that one out. We need someone to stnd up and be courageous and act model what that group at Dicken was supposed to learn as the Lunch Bunch last year. We can only expect Mr. Madison to sit back and watch other do double duty, take home double thier pay and claim credit for something he thinks he negotiated. "look at how I saved the district". The people of Wines, Abbott, Angel, and Pittfld. should be outraged at this suggestion. Call your school board and tell them is unacceltanle to even consider cuts unless the incompotenet, ineffective, and lazy ones are eliminated first. It is also disturbing that the APPS is not considering closing schools or at least they are covering up their discussion(s). Dicken, with its decreasing enrollment is discussed every day at Balas as a target for closure to save money. Peolpe are leaving this school in droves. Enrollment is down. Test scores have bottomed out. The community has obviously decided that they don't need the school so why on earth would it not be considerd for closure? They don't want it open. Listen to your community. Don't you think that a responsible school administration would at least consider this in their assessment of the budget. Our adminsitrator get paid a lot of money and if they don't they are negligent in the performance of their jobs. What would you support? Get rid of a principal at a school that the community doesn't want or (1) keep those principals at schools that want them and (2) maintaining bus service where i


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 9:58 p.m.

did the principal's union have input into which schools would have their principals consolidated?


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:14 p.m.

This is just one more instance of Ann Arbor becoming more and more elitist. What do you think the income distribution of those who ride the bus is? Has anyone asked this question? Sure if you are coming from the Polo Fields and mommy and daddy can afford to drive you to school ( or maybe just have the nanny do it) you would rather bus service cut than other programs. If your a child of a single parent making $35K a year (yes there are people who survive on $35K in A2) and have already gone to work by the time you go to school, you just get to figure it out? That's ridiculous. Public schools are supposed to service all of their student equally, no matter there race, gender, or socio economic status. Cutting buses is clearly a move that will effect the lower income families more than those in higher income brackets.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 12:43 a.m.

I don't know if I'm contributing to the conversation or just making noise....we're a low income (by Ann Arbor standards) household and my kids have to use the AATA anyway because we live within the 2 mile radius of their schools. The cost, $1.50 per child per day, using the 180 day standard is $270 per child per school year. The monthly passes do not save any significant fact they cost more unless they are used at least 20 days a month. As much as I love telling my kids how good they've got it (I walked uphill both ways in a blizzard to get my mom a doctor the night I was born), the fact is that walking and biking are just not good options for everyone. Anyway, I digress. My tiny little point was, the bus fare adds up. It's just another expense I have to budget for. If all three of my boys use the AATA next year, I can expect to lay out about $800 for bus fare. (here's hoping "the committee" decides my special ed student is still worthy of transportation when he starts middle school in the fall).

Dudley Barlow

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

We live near Pioneer HS, and I see a stream of nearly empty busses passing our house every school day. Clearly, high school students need less bus transportation than the middle and elementary school kids. How about getting rid of some of the big busses and buying smaller ones? They could be used strategically where needed. This should produce some, perhaps significant savings.

Edward R Murrow's Ghost

Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 3:07 a.m.

Because the same big buses that are near empty for the HS then turn around and run nearly full with Jr. High and elementary students. Buying more buses would simply be buying more buses Good Night and Good Luck


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

@bulldog, Lansing is not that broke, the governor just decided to take $2B from schools and give it to businesses. Who needs schools anyway, we need jobs.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

Reality Check: According to the article, we spend $1.482 million per year to transport 1467 students (1/3 of 4700) to and from school approximately 180 days per year (the standard in Michigan). That works out to $5.25 per student per day, or a little over $100 per month. AATA charges students $0.75 per ride ($1.50 per day) or $29 per month for a pass. QUESTIONS: If AATA can do it that cheaply, why can't WISD? Could AATA afford to add extra routes if they knew they would be providing transportation for students? Could the state and city at least afford to subsidize fares for low-income students? Should WISD contract with AATA, or at least get some pointers on efficiency?


Sat, Apr 30, 2011 : 9:56 p.m.

Yes, AATA is subsidized...and since it already is, perhaps we should utilize it more. Are they willing to take on adjustments necessary to accommodate transporting children to school?

Mike D.

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 6:42 p.m.

School buses actually take the kids from close to their homes to school. The AATA doesn't serve many students, and it would add an hour or more of travel per day to the schedules of most students it does serve. It's not really apples-to-apples. And, and has been mentioned, even the huge taxes we pay for the AATA don't come close to covering its operation.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 12:13 p.m.

AATA has an 84% subsidy (e.g. the ticket cost covers 26% of the cost of running AATA). So if I take the $1.50 and add the subsidy - the cost would be $5.77 per student. Looks like WISD is the lower cost option.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

No one ever wants to cut anything - that is just not feasible anymore. Rather than cutting bus service, what would you suggest? Academics, Extra curricular, band, plays, field trips, prom, and many others? If we keep this up we will have to cut them all unless everyone is willing to double their tax bill. Are you???? Lansing and the Federal govt are broke - you can't expect them to keep financing everything. Wake up Ann Arbor before it is too late to save anything.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:32 a.m.

How about cutting back on the silly field upgrades at Pi Hi, for starters. Then cut back 100K on the incoming super's salary. Then cut back on the ginormous administrators' salaries. Personally I would not mind paying more taxes -- not at all -- PROVIDED they went to quality programs, like academics, hot lunch/breakfast, library purchases, art supplies, and the excellent music program. But I'm well aware not everyone wants to pay (or can pay) higher taxes.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 7:55 p.m.

Cutting the buses doesn't really eliminate the cost of transporting kids to school, it just transfers the cost to other payers. If the parents have to absorb the cost of more vehicles, gas, insurance premiums, and time, they most certainly will be paying more than they would have to pay in higher taxes. But everyone else will be paying more as well. Local businesses will lose revenue because the parents will have less money to spend locally. Morning rush-hour drivers will have to spend more time because of all the other vehicles on the road. One extra fender-bender and you will be spending more for your deductible than you would have spent on the exta taxes. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch. The real question ought to be "what is the cheapest and most efficient way to get the kids to school?" I don't know, but I bet it's a bus.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

Absolutely. Gas prices are headed higher. They'll keep going up until Americans permanently use a lot less gas. The Chinese will get their share, no matter what we think. So in an era of higher gas prices, which vehicles make the most sense? Buses and bicycles. But they stuck Skyline in a location that's lousy for biking and AATA buses. The other high schools are served by at least two AATA routes (Community is within walking distance of over 10 routes), but Skyline has only one. So in an era of much higher gas prices, when we should be moving to a model more like Europe or Japan's with more transit, we're moving to ditch our most efficient options.

zip the cat

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 7:30 p.m.

If you think its bad now,wait till gas is $5.00 a gal It'll cost $10.00 a day to ride the AATA bus to and from school Kids got it made today,when I went to school you walked 3 mi ea way in all types of weather. Now days the brats want mom to get as close to the school door as possible before they get out of the car

Jonny Spirit

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:25 p.m.

Yeah and you had to walk in the snow up hills both way. Come on zip the cat not that line. You are totally right about kids not getting there butts off the couch and getting on a bike or walk to school. Now they flip down the TV in the back of the mini van and watch a quick movie on there way to school. This way mom/dad can drink her $6.00 dollar coffee and not talk to each other.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 7:16 p.m.

AAPS Board of Education and Administration may have single-handedly stopped the special education millage renewal from passing by their irresponsible cuts to student services while awarding a new superintendent a 5-year contract at an unreasonably high base salary. If she proves unsatisfactory after a few years, which has been the case with other superintendents, then they will have to buy her out while paying for another superintendent. How can the Board of Education and Administration be so out of touch with its own staff and the children and family they serve?!


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 2:02 p.m.

Yeah, that really worries me. It's only a renewal, and it's for special ed, but there are enough people in the county still hurting from the recession to make it close. Usually these millages are close or fail in the rest of the County, but pass with enough votes in Ann Arbor and a few other cities to pass the millage. There are supporters and opponents who will vote regardless. Then there are the vast majority who have to decide whether to bother heading in to the polls. If enough people who would have voted for it are feeling discouraged enough, we could lose the margin that would have carried it over. That superintendent contract will make things more difficult.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 6:44 p.m.

jcj- I am not calling you a liar, what school were you at? I was at Bach from 1958 till 1963 every child had to go home every day for lunch


Mon, Apr 25, 2011 : 1:37 p.m.

Since I walked home for lunch, I was hardly aware of those who stayed at the school to eat.


Mon, Apr 25, 2011 : 1:35 p.m.

I went to Thurston in 1975 and the students had the choice of staying at school for lunch, or walking home for lunch.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

And I am not calling you a liar but is there any chance your memory is bad? I don't doubt you went home every day. But by 1960 there were lots of households where both parents worked. Your telling me that every parent came and picked up there kids for lunch? Or maybe your saying that 1st graders walked home to an empty house and made their own lunch. I may be wrong about Bach, but I am not wrong about Haisley and Fritz. If anyone else remembers staying at school for lunch in the 50's or 60's please respond. The National School Lunch Act was passed in 1946.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 9:15 p.m.

I went to Haisley and Fritz and specifically remember walking through the woods to eat lunch at Haisley.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:47 p.m.

Some thoughts to make Ann Arbor still attractive: 1. Increase education funding 2. redistrict school 3. privatized school bus service 4. merge school bus system with AATA. Keep in mind: 1.the schools are not designed to have all students go to school w/o bus -- limmits of sidewald, roads and parking lots. 2. undermine schools will undermine the future of everyone. Thanks.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:37 p.m.

All this while the state puts more restrictions on teen drivers.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:07 p.m.

I drove into Ann Arbor today paying attention to the route my children would have to walk. The over passes I looked at over M-14 had no sidewalks, can you see 13 year olds walking across these over passes in December in the dark? Even on a nice day? A significant portion of the student population of the district lives outside the M-14/US-23/I-94 triangle. Most would have to detour to an over pass. How many will choose to jaywalk and cross one of these roads in traffic? How will Dr Allen explain to the family that it is not his fault at the first funeral? How about the BOE? Oh, and it is a lawsuit waiting to happen. I will figure out how to get my children to school safely, but I have more options than some families do. I will not complain about the loss of busing, but I think the school had best think through the liability they may be opening.

Andrew Smith

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 4:30 p.m.

Not simply the majority, but the vast majority of students can be served by AATA. And low-income students are eligible for special reduced or free bus rides on AATA. Many students are within walking or bicycling distance of school. Those who can't walk, ride a bicycle, or take the AATA constitute a tiny minority. Within that minority, some have parents, grandparents, or (as the article states) nannies who drive them. Those who actually need, not merely want, a school bus are few in number indeed. Appropriate transportation for them can and will be found. But we can't run school busses merely for the whim of convenience.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

"we can't run school buses merely for the whim of convenience." Maybe not but a little off topic that is what is happening with the AATA.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:52 p.m.

Nannies, why didn't the rest of us think of that. Ride bikes, walking on overpasses, no sidewalks, and of course bikes. Let's remember we live in Michigan, the Winter Wonderland. Contact your governor people. We need to help him rethink his priorities.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:33 p.m.

This is so bogus and so predictable. We built a third high school when it wasn't needed and now everybody is crying when we can't afford it! Get a life people. Taxpayers have supported you enough!


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:58 p.m.

Has anyone bothered to look into how much money could be raised by selling ads on the sides of the buses? It's not normally an option I'd favor, but it's better than eliminating the buses altogether. Reasonable restrictions could be placed on the type of products and services that could be advertised in this manner (no phone sex hotlines, etc.). Maybe the revenue from such ads could offset enough of the transportation costs that the district could maintain busing for students who need it? Just an idea.

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 4:33 p.m.

Smart! Or even better trade in these horribly inefficient buses for electric buses.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

As BasicBob said, there are some kids that may not find a way to school. Why not use the computer and figure out which kids could take the AATA, what busses are not needed, for instance, the bus from Haisley to Forsythe may not be needed. No reason kids can't walk that far, mine used to. Maybe we could redistrict again, I know that the kids from the North East side of AA that go to Skyline, could go to Huron, but there were some odd reasons why they didn't. They could also redistrict looking at the AATA bus routes. There has got to be a way to do this that is not quite so disruptive to parents. Send an email to the governor and tell him that cutting taxes for business is not as important as funding education. Light a fire under him if you are wondering how your kid is going to get to school.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:22 p.m.

Great - How many accidents are there going to be now in the traffic circles by Skyline with the increasing number of drivers who don't know how to use them??

Mike D.

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 6:36 p.m.

The point of the traffic circles (other than easing traffic flow) is that they minimize the severity of accidents when they do occur. Because you have to slow down for them, serious injuries in traffic circles are nearly unheard of, which is what makes them ideal for areas with a lot of new drivers.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:15 p.m.

Just another example of what happens when Republican tax-cutting gets out of hand. We don't need more cuts, we need more revenue. Eliminating bus transportation exposes the school district to potential lawsuits that could end up costing more to defend than it cost to run the buses in the first place. If cuts must be made, make them elsewhere ... but the real answer here is to raise more revenue. And yes, that means raising taxes. Why not start with the wealthy and corporations? In other words, those most able to pay.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 2:20 p.m.

I disagree in the strongest possible terms. AAPS does NOT need more revenue. They need to adjust their priorities. They could, if it was a priority, eliminate HS bus service (or HS and middle school bus service) in areas where there was AATA service. Bus routes in the outlying areas, where AATA doesn't have a stop within a mile or two at most, should be maintained. If there must be cuts, what should be cut first are varsity and jr. varsity athletics, which are not mandated and which primarily benefit the very few students who are on the varsity teams. When AAPS has made all sports club or intramural sports and instituted "pay to play" for band and orchestra at the same cost as they now use for varsity sports, then they can talk about eliminating all bus service for high schoolers.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3 p.m.

Regardless of whether or not there are grounds for lawsuits, more revenue remains the preferable solution. Too many cuts have been made already.

Jonny Spirit

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:44 p.m.

cette this is true in Michigan Public Schools do NOT have to supply transportation to students. Ask Kalkaska school district, they have been with out busing for K-12 for the past 15 years. They decided to cut it when the school district ran out of money and never got it back. They sold all there buses and could not afford to buy them back.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:28 p.m.

My understanding is that they are not obliged by law to provide bus service, so law suits are not going to change things. And for the money a suit would cost somebody that family could hire a private chauffeur and a luxury car to send their kid back and forth.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:13 p.m.

Things will be even worse if the current millage for special education is not renewed. The monies to fund this federal requirement will be taken from the school's general fund. This will reduce the available money for the school system thus resulting in additional cost cutting.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 3:48 p.m.

Special Education is an unfunded mandate. If the Special Education millage does not pass, the services must still be provided.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:36 p.m.

if the millage passes, does that mean they will not decrease the parapro's, since they are assigned for special ed. kids?

Fat Bill

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:10 p.m.

In other states, student sometimes have to pay for bus service. Right now, Michigan doesn't allow districts to charge students for the ride to school. If we can get that law amended, perhaps a fee-based system can be established, along with a subsidy for low-income students. Sure, graduated driver licensing rules make an exception for trips to and from school, but how safe will it be with multiple carloads of young teens heading into school each morning? Its already a little hairy right now...


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:53 p.m.

Insurance rates will be adjusted to compensate, I'm sure.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:05 p.m.

Personally, it'll mean driving our son in, unless the AATA schedule changes. It is not a hardship for us, it's a bit of an inconvenience. But clearly for other people it could be a big deal, and the district should facilitate arrangements. It's also a niche for someone to fill with a business service... Nobody is carrying on about those 70 jobs that will save $7 million. That's a lot of money. So why not lay off fifteen more teachers and keep the buses? I'm kidding. Things just get worse if the special education millage doesn't pass. Another 6 million is a big loss...

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

Cut the Bus service. If kids can't get to school, that's their loss. Back in my day we had to walk 5 miles to get to school, uphills both ways. Enough.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 1:22 p.m.

Hey wait, that was a county-wide millage. It passed in Ann Arbor, but failed in the rest of the county. I guess that means that Ann Arbor kids are better at being pests than kids in the rest of the county? I know my son's been driving me nuts this morning.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:10 p.m.

So Bill, your saying the reason the millage didn't pass isn't because VOTERS weren't informed about what they were voting on, but because students didn't inform parents about it? Seems like it should be a voters responsibility to know that....

Wolf's Bane

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 4:31 p.m.

Yeah, I think if students had actually done a better job of informing their parents about the importance of the school millage (that failed to pass last year) we wouldn't be in this pickle, now would we? Now, they do deserve to walk to school or ride their bicycles.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:54 p.m.

"If kids can't get to school, that's their loss." Yeah, like the students brought this on themselves.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:39 p.m.

In response to JCJ -- I went to school in Ann Arbor as did my children -- we all walked to school, and went home for lunch. The hot lunch program was introduced into the public schools in the mid-70's. And, yes, once upon a time parents of all children were responsible for purchasing needed books and materials for their children. Then it was decided that the schools were to furnish all of these supplies --- how do you think these things were going to be paid for -- you guessed it by paying more taxes -- it has to come from somewhere. Yes, this did occur in good Ole Ann Arbor, Michigan.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 12:21 a.m.

This reply got on the wrong post. My Fault. Carole Here are the facts. Usually better than my memory. President Harry S. Truman began the national school lunch program in 1946 as a measure of national security. He did so after reading a study that revealed many young men had been rejected from the World War II draft due to medical conditions caused by childhood malnutrition. Since that time more than 180 million lunches have been served to American children who attend either a public school or a non-profit private school. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson extended the program by offering breakfast to school children. It began as a two years pilot program for children in rural areas and those living in poorer neighborhoods. It was believed that these children would have to skip breakfast in order to catch the bus for the long ride to school. There were also concerns that the poorer families could not always afford to feed their children breakfast. Johnson believed, like many of us today, that children would do better in school if they had a good breakfast to start their day. The pilot was such a success that it was decided the program should continue. By 1975, breakfast was being offered to all children in public or non-profit private school. This change was made because educators felt that more children were skipping breakfast due to both parent being in the workforce.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:27 p.m.

Carole I also went to school in Ann Arbor as did my children as do my grand children! You stated "Once upon a time, all children went home for lunch" I say I started going to school in Ann Arbor in 1955 and I never once from that day forward went home for lunch. I did take a sack lunch. You say: "The hot lunch program was introduced into the public schools in the mid-70's." That's funny I had hot lunch at school in the 60's.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:51 p.m.

I walked to Thurston and Clague myself, but only because they were within walking distance of my home. I then had to take the bus to Huron, since it was NOT within walking distance of my home.

Kevin McGuinness

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

I believe there was one responsible School Board member that recommended this almost 8 years ago. It has taken an impending crisis to get something with should have been investigating sooner. We can make this a win for both the Public School in using scarce money for for higher priorities like school room teaching and making the public transport system a more viable option in the future. I think it may be smart to make bus fares free for student age youngsters. It would introduce them to using the public transport system and turning them into future customers. It would make them more responsible in figuring out how to get around on their own. By high school age it is time to become more independent. The school system should work cooperatively with the Public School system to investigate what changes can be made to provide more accessible routes for the new riders. The future would be better served with a more used Public Transit system and students who are better educated. Things will not be as convenient for all but we have to look at what are the higher priorities and what we CAN DO with what we have.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:41 p.m.

Carol Here are the facts. Usually better than my memory. President Harry S. Truman began the national school lunch program in 1946 as a measure of national security. He did so after reading a study that revealed many young men had been rejected from the World War II draft due to medical conditions caused by childhood malnutrition. Since that time more than 180 million lunches have been served to American children who attend either a public school or a non-profit private school. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson extended the program by offering breakfast to school children. It began as a two years pilot program for children in rural areas and those living in poorer neighborhoods. It was believed that these children would have to skip breakfast in order to catch the bus for the long ride to school. There were also concerns that the poorer families could not always afford to feed their children breakfast. Johnson believed, like many of us today, that children would do better in school if they had a good breakfast to start their day. The pilot was such a success that it was decided the program should continue. By 1975, breakfast was being offered to all children in public or non-profit private school. This change was made because educators felt that more children were skipping breakfast due to both parent being in the workforce.

Mike D.

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:11 p.m.

This is going to disproportionately impact poor families because they are the ones where both parents (or a single parent) already work 2 jobs, so rides aren't an option, and they can't afford to live near high schools (or bus stops) where housing is costlier. We've got to recognize that and provide need-based transportation alternatives for the less advantaged. That said, eliminating busing makes sense because discourages sprawl. We can't go on bulldozing what's left of nature and burning oil in our cars and McMansions forever. The land and oil eventually run out.

Mike D.

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 6:33 p.m.

I have seen a huge amount of sprawl in the past ten years. Most of the woods and fields I played in as a kid just northeast of Ann Arbor are now subdivisions of shoddily built tract homes. And yes, I don't favor investing in expanding AATA service to rural areas. It's simply not possible to have efficient public transportation in areas with low population density. I'd rather invest the money in municipal projects that encourage high density.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:30 p.m.

"That said, eliminating busing makes sense because discourages sprawl." How much "sprawl" have you seen in the last ten years? Given your logic here I assume you are against the AATA plan for county wide service. Because that will certainly accelerate 'sprawl".

John Spelling

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:10 p.m.

Last year, for our route on the west side of Ann Arbor, high school and middle schools shared the same bus. The bus would first drop at Forsythe and then proceed to Skyline in the morning and in the afternoon the bus picked up at Skyline first and then proceeded to Forsythe. Can't believe the additional cost for this extra stop was great. Has something changed this year now that transportation is under the "new management" of the WISD?


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

We are talking 15 million dollars in cuts, something needed to be cut. Should we keep busing but start charging for kids to be in band and orchestra? Cut all foreign language being offered? How about all athletics being paid out of pocket? The point here is that tough decisions need to be made and someone is always going to be upset. As for AATA buses, not great, but it is an alternative to those families who need transportation. When I went to school I had older friends who often picked me up on the way to school, start networking now to find that someone who could help you out. These are tough times, with tough decisions being recommended, which is why all of us need to let Gov. Snyder know what happens when funding is cut as drastically as it is being cut. This wouldn't be needed otherwise.

say it plain

Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 2:15 a.m.

I agree with DonBee on the athletics...if *anything* should be cut, isn't that the most fair? If we merely required people who could afford it to pay a SIGNIFICANT chunk of change for the Varsity Sports we spend sooo much money on, we could avoid cutting know, TEACHING?, courses, learning?! PE is important, but that's actually quite different from Varsity Sports.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 4:28 p.m.

local - While the players pay some of the costs out of pocket, the general fund at AAPS still puts up approximately $3 million dollars for Varsity Athletics. Like busing it is not mandated by law, but touching the sports money in Ann Arbor is like touching Social Security in Washington DC.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:18 p.m.

The state is not &quot;broke.&quot; The cuts to school funding are a result of Snyder's give-away to business. Don't cut taxes; raise them. We are not overtaxed. See: <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 8:05 p.m.

The state is broke...Govt Snyder is not going to be able to bail out the schools anymore


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:47 p.m.

Eliminating bus transportation will make selling homes in Ann Arbor even more difficult. Prospective buyers will choose other communities when they realize they will need to worry about how their kids will get to school.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:44 p.m.

When looking at other states where public school busing is not provided, there is generally a private school bus service that families can use to transport their children to school. Most districts in California have this service and have used this model for years. Not ideal, but until the k12 school funding changes in Michigan, every non-mandated service can be eliminated. Folks if you don't like this, start talking to your legislators in Lansing. The change has to happen statewide otherwise every district will be dismantled piece by piece.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:26 p.m.

Great idea lets pattern everything after CA! Look at their economy and the mess they are in. I don't think that is a bus we want to follow!


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:42 p.m.

If school bus service is cut from the hi school level there is one thing we are forgetting. Another mass lay off for the school bus drivers. Happened last year and will again this year if they cut hi school buses. So, again, it looks like the idea Ann Arbor had to turn over busing to WISD failed again. If WISD cannot control spending like they said they would, then how can Ann Arbor? Again I say, privatize busing to Trinity and let Ann Arbor keep its spending out of control like in Washington and see where they get in another year. Privatized custodians and who knows what else. Ann Arbor has never known how to budget and never will learn from this. Then they will end up like Detroit, with a micro manager closing all the schools and laying off all the teachers. Good luck Ann Arbor, you messed up again.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:37 p.m.

It has always been difficult and expensive to manage services to folks who live in outlying areas, away from more densely populated areas. These folks are the last to be wired for cable, receive city services like trash collection, sewer, and water. They suffer poor cell phone service, frequent power outages after storms, and long delays in emergency services. This is the cost of urban sprawl. I don't think AAPS should necessarily feel obligated absorb these costs, particularly at the expense of their primary mission to educate.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 2:39 a.m.

@ say it plain: as awful as it sounds most &quot;bigtime varsity sports programs&quot; are the largest revenue collectors for public schools and in many cases students pay to play those sports. Also those programs have allowed otherwise unprivileged students to gain access to college through sports scholarships.

say it plain

Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 2:07 a.m.

I agree with you @jcj, except I DO think we should feel less obligated to provide football. Why is this even an issue, why are American schools somehow obliged to provide bigtime varsity sports programs?


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:52 p.m.

&quot;I don't think AAPS should necessarily feel obligated absorb these costs, particularly at the expense of their primary mission to educate.&quot; In order to &quot;educate.&quot; don't we first have to get student there? They should not feel any more or any less obligated to provide Spanish classes, Music, Football, Art.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:05 p.m.

There was, once upon a time, when almost everyone either walked to school, only those living in the country were bussed to school. Once upon a time, all children went home for lunch or if the parents were working brought a sack lunch to school and were offered milk for a drink. The parents were responsible for seeing that these concerns were addressed -- Instituting these services are great if affordable, but if not then other avenues need to be taken -- not being mean spirited here, just realistic about some of the extra costs educational dollars are paying for. Our children are our greatest gifts and we should continue supporting those who go into the educational field to teach our youngsters. More cuts in administration could be made -- what about grounds folks, etc. Basically, don't wish to see anyone cut, but I've taken several hits already (cut in hours and no raise for three years) and am at the bottom of the totem pole regarding salary. And, yes, I am totally discouraged by the fact that the new superintendent is making a huge sum -- Dr. Roberts took a reduction just like everyone else -- the new person would receive great kudos if they did the same thing.


Fri, Apr 29, 2011 : 3:01 p.m.

Once upon a time there were schools for blacks and schools for whites. Once upon a time if you could not read you could not vote. Once upon a time a high school education was a rarity. WHO CARES ABOUT ONCE UPON A TIME.


Sun, Apr 24, 2011 : 11:40 a.m.

Yeah, one would hope people on the school Board and administration would come back and read these comments. Right across Pontiac Trail from my neighborhood is Arrowwood Hills. All the kids in that neighborhood are also districted to Skyline. I don't think any of them are walking to Skyline any more than my kids could.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 7:26 p.m.

When AAPS has redistricted in the last 20 yrs (the Skyline redistricting, and the wider event some years before that), walkability was only one of several criteria for drawing boundaries. If those drawing the lines had been told that walkability was the most important issue, we would have different boundaries. As a result we have three groups of kids at the high schools: those who are close (few), those who are inside city limits but not all that close (many), and those who live outside the city limits and in some cases quite a few miles away. People in the last area in my limited experience tend to drive their own kids; I am doubtful that AAPS busses go to every one of those very-distant houses. The bigger problem is those families that are inside the city limits but still not within walking distance, and boy that's a lot of families.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 5:16 p.m.

Basic Bob Pioneer HS on Stadium has only been there since about 1956. Before that it was at State and Huron.

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

@KJMClark, If one looks at the past history of CHS, it was Jones School, and it was centrally located to be closest to all the black children. The high school was out on Stadium where it is now.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:16 p.m.

Once upon a time they put high schools in central locations, like Community is, where there were lots of options for getting them there. I'd say they should look at the same percentage cuts in administration as they propose for teachers - same percentage of wages/benefits, same percentage of employees. They should be looking at increasing parking revenues at the same time they're looking at cutting busing. Use market-based pricing for the parking lots.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

&quot;There was, once upon a time, when almost everyone either walked to school, only those living in the country were bussed to school. &quot; And it was uphill BOTH ways! &quot;Once upon a time, all children went home for lunch or if the parents were working brought a sack lunch to school and were offered milk for a drink. &quot; ALL CHILDREN never went home for lunch! In what country and century did you attend school? Once upon a time people thought the earth was flat too.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

That would be really bad for my grandchildren. There is no city bus service where they live. They would have to ride the WAVE which only comes every 2 hours and then take a city bus. It would take them forever to get to school and home. This is a going to be a terrible situation for some kids.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:33 p.m.

It is better then nothing. Some children ride the bus for an hour before they get to school. We know ours will spend an hour on the bus to and from school every day. We drop ours off at the nearest AATA that will take the child to school and home every day. Good luck getting up early. We do.

Basic Bob

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11 a.m.

AATA does not help people who are 7 miles from school and 3 miles from the nearest AATA stop. In our neighborhood, the high school buses are full.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

We have to drive ours to nearest AATA stop before going on to work. We get up early to make sure this happens. And yes, school bus service for hi schoolers will end because the board will make it happen.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:56 a.m.

The article from Thursday morning stated that only 1/3 of high school students actually ride the AAPS buses. $1.48 million could be put to better use elsewhere. Shifting high school transportation to the AATA is a solution that enables the district to continue to fund other programs. It's a good solution for a difficult situation. (For the record, I have one 10th grader who has been riding the AATA since 9th grade and an 8th grader who will be attending Huron next year...and riding the AATA.)


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 1:05 p.m.

Lisa - From my perspective, the school district significantly increases my costs, so I consider lowering the amount I pay the school district. Seems perfectly rational to me, but maybe you have a different definition of rational. JNS - No, the total time is about 45 minutes, just like yours. Maybe you shouldn't jump to conclusions before mocking someone? My point was that I don't consider a 14 year old girl standing by herself on Huron for ten minutes at 7:15 am to be safe enough for my family. And while you're jumping to thoughtless conclusions, I can assure you that I'm aware the buses can transport up to two bikes per bus. My wife and I both bike to work, after all. But in this case, think really hard and tell me how putting the bike on the bus would make any sense? Pontiac Trail to downtown, downtown to Skyline. It would almost make more sense for her to bike (about 35 minutes), except that I can get her to school in seven minutes by car.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:53 p.m.

Oh my gosh. I am never using my phone again to type a reply!! Ever! Among other corrections I should probably make, let me at least say that was WTMC students and not ARMCHAIR students...home from WCC!


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:48 p.m.

AATA service would have to be expanded. I would only be in favor if the cost was covered as that is hardship many could not afford. But the service works, and often duplicates - or comes close to duplicating - our school bus transportation. What a waste. I used the AATA. my kids have used the AATP, (including waiting 10 minutes on Huron Street, although I do understand always looking for the safest way, just saying they've done that and it was okay), and AATA is used currently to get out-of-Skyline-area students who live in Ann Armor home, get 7th hour students home from Huron, and ARMCHAIR students home from WCC. Private schools have even used it for field trips. It is an idea to explore. However, I absolutely want to retain our teachers and excellence in education. I absolutely think other administrative services can be consolidated. And the superintendent now has a chance to show their commitment to AAPS, by donating a chunk of that bloated salary to the cause.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:28 p.m.

Boo hoo. 10 minutes? O my golly. Mine has to be at the AATA by 6:30 to catch a transfer at 7:05 to be at school by 7:15. Plus if she wants to? O my, providence forbid, takes the bike on that bus and whats this? Rides the bike to school? Unheard of. Yes, AATA does have bike transport capability. Might want to think about that one.

Lisa Starrfield

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

Voting against the millages and causing more cuts because you don't like THIS cut is irrational.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:16 a.m.

I checked the schedules last night. The best combination I could do has my freshman daughter standing on Huron St. downtown, by herself, for 10 minutes every morning. We'll contribute to the traffic problems before we do that. And let me be clear that at that point I start to consider voting against millages.

Wake Up A2

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:56 a.m.

Ann Arbor is known for it's public schools. Yet by the time we are done it will be cut to the bone, and all those things we are praised for will be gone. Why will people want to come to Ann Arbor with their kids and families? You will have more leave. Since it is Earth Day, will the last person to leave Ann Arbor please turn off the lights. Your focus should be on lansing and those folks. There are other ways to fix this issue, not taking it out on kids, the next generation. Nice job grown ups.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:52 a.m.

Cuts have to be made. There will always be some group who doesn't agree with the cuts. It's a no win situation.


Mon, Apr 25, 2011 : 2:25 a.m.

@Skigrl Saline High School Charges $250 for the year I believe.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 12:58 p.m.

Skigrl, $50 would about cover the administration fee. No, I'm talking about fees like UM charges. So set up zones based on distance from the door. The farthest parking spots are $50 a month plus the $50 setup. The closest spots are $200 a month. Don't give anyone free parking, so if the administrator wants the closest spot, they pay the $200 a month. Vary the permit rates by school. Leave a few metered spots for visitors. Ticket or tow cars of people who park in the wrong zone, have expired permits, or park in a permit spot without a permit. There's no reason the public schools should give away free parking; the public universities don't. The public government doesn't. $50 a year is peanuts.


Sat, Apr 23, 2011 : 12:02 a.m.

Wrong! They do not need to be made. It's a volunary crisis caused by Snyder using the flush school aid fund, which has enough money to INCREASE per-pupil funding, to fund other things.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 12:39 p.m.

@KJMClark I don't know about all of the high schools, but Huron charges $50 for a student parking permit. They raised the price this year.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:14 a.m.

Charge for parking.

Alan Caldwell

Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:40 a.m.

I think the question isn't &quot;should we cut high school bus service?&quot;. It's more about &quot;should we cut high school bus service, or Spanish classes or music classes?&quot; Unfortunately, something, maybe a lot of things, are going to be elminated -- what can we live without?


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 10:17 p.m.

Sounds like you could easily find alternate transportation. I guess that single mom who is struggling to live in A2 and get her kids a good education gets screwed then, right? Cut a program that effects everyone, not a program that disproportionately effects those in lower income brackets.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:26 a.m.

RIght Answer KJMClark, right answer! Lets cut it to the level of Plymouth-Canton (2,000 more students than AAPS) and save $4 million.


Fri, Apr 22, 2011 : 11:17 a.m.