Catholic school parents and administrators are upset by proposed Madison school district budget cuts that would eliminate the bus service they receive to get their kids to school.
But the school district is hoping to trim nearly $230,000 from its budget by offering more than $162,000 directly to parents to transport their children instead of providing yellow school bus service to five Catholic schools in the Madison district. Busing those students is projected to cost about $392,000 in 2007-08.
State statutes require public school districts to provide transportation for students in private schools as well as public schools, but Madison district officials say it costs them more than 50 percent more per pupil to bus the Catholic school students. Underlying the proposal is the need for the Madison School Board and administrators to find nearly $8 million to cut from next year’s budget to comply with state-imposed revenue caps.
There are 358 students who attend St. Dennis, St. James, Edgewood Campus School, St. Maria Goretti and Queen of Peace schools who would be affected by the policy change.