GALT (CBS13) – Deep money troubles could force the Galt school district to shut down bus services and close libraries.
Theresa Dickinson has been driving a school bus for five years. But after Wednesday’s night’s board meeting, she and five others may have to start looking for a new job. And Galt elementary and middle school students will likely have to find another way to get to school.
“Me personally, if I lose my job it’s fine, but it’s more the safety of kids getting to and from schools,” Dickinson said. “I don’t mind losing my job, it’s the kids I’m worried about.”
Dickinson says the district’s plan to cut bus service for all but special education students could put kids in danger, including a large population of rural students who may be forced to walk on streets without sidewalks.
“The country kids have no way of getting to school because some of the bridges aren’t deemed passable for pedestrian traffic,” Dickinson said. “It’s a disaster waiting to happen.”
But the Galt Unified Elementary District superintendent says she had no other choice, facing a $4 million shortfall and decreasing aid from the state. The superintendent calls the cuts the worst-case scenario.
And it’s not just bus drivers, but librarians too who are on the chopping block, meaning come next fall students may have no library services.
Kayla Marquez, who could soon be forced to walk several miles to school, may not understand the math behind the cuts, but a decision to leave students out in the cold just doesn’t add up to her.
“Some kids don’t have parents that can drive, some don’t have money, some kids are poor,” she said.