Mass. School District Eliminates Most Buses for Students Ahead of First Day of Classes

Cutting transportation will save the school district about $400,000

Parents in Malden, Massachusetts, are scrambling to find a way to get their children to classes on Tuesday after a last minute decision by the school district to eliminate buses for most students.

The decision to end almost all school bus routes has given parents about a month to find alternative ways to get to school. For many, that means getting their kids on an MBTA bus.

"We always make sure we are at the school bus with her but now it's going to be a lot more complicated," said parent Jen Hendrey.

Parents and students are worried that their practice runs won't hold up to real time traffic, weather and work schedules.

"It's just a matter of dragging the kids around," said Hendrey. "We can also give some other parents a ride but that's the best case scenario."

The decision to leave 120 students without transportation was made at a school committee meeting due to the school department facing a $2.5 million budget gap. Cutting transportation will save the district about $400,000.

Interim Superintendent Charles Grandson said it's unclear if school buses will be funded again.

"I think a lot of it depends on the budget process this upcoming year," Grandson said. "I think many have projected as the state continues to lose money, the federal government gives less money, it only means less for local communities. And so I think we should continue to plan to find alternative ways for transportation."

With many students now having to use the MBTA stop in the center of Malden, the stop is expected to be busy starting Tuesday. Students will be getting free passes for the school year.

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