Bus Plan Plagues Monroe

Parents and students met Tuesday night with the Monroe Board of Education to try to hit the brakes on the district's new busing system.

"My daughter was in tears and she’s in high school," said Robin Wall, a Monroe parent frustrated by the changes.

Budget cuts forced school administrators to pack as many students as possible on almost every bus. For the first time ever, students at Masuk High School and Jockey Hollow Middle School are sharing the same buses to save the district cash.

"The bus gets pretty crowded," said Masuk student Mike Brown "I mean 8th graders sit 3 to a seat."

"They're leaving the aisles cluttered with book bags," Wall added. "Feet, legs and emergency exits are not clear which means if there is an emergency, the kids are never getting out safely."

A plan was designed to eliminate four school buses this year. Now district officials want to adjust that program.

"By Monday we’ll have 27 buses in tier 1," said Dr. Colleen Palmer, Monroe Schools Superintendent."We've already alleviated most of the overcrowding. Were taking steps this week and adding buses so we will not have an unsafe situation."

The district said First Student Bus Transportation Services caused the problem. Monroe Schools will receive financial sanctions from the company, because it did not meet contractual performance standards.

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