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Elimination of bus service for 7 schools recommended


Bus service at seven Baltimore public schools will be eliminated if staff recommendations to the city's school board last night are adopted.

Routes at two more schools would be partially eliminated and bus service at eight schools would be retained.

Officials said the new busing proposal would affect about 2,000 students and save about $350,000.

Forty-seven bus routes at 16 elementary schools and one middle school were studied to determine which should be eliminated.

If all the routes were eliminated, approximately 3,400 students would be affected, saving the school system about $1 million.

The new proposal would not affect bus service for about 4,000 special education and disabled students, which is mandated by state law.

The bus service was originally instituted to facilitate desegregation or transport students facing hazardous conditions for walking or who live more than a mile from school. Only 8,000 of 110,000 city students currently use school buses.

City school officials held two public hearings at which many parents denounced cuts in the bus service. But last night only three parents -- all from Yorkwood Elementary School -- showed up to tell the board their children would not be safe without the buses.

"You are taking a chance with my child and many others," said Linda Stokes, a parent and substitute teacher.

Under the new recommendation, bus service would be eliminated at Gwynns Falls, Dickey Hill, Curtis Bay, Yorkwood, Holabird and Medfield Heights elementary schools and Fallstaff Middle School.

At Cross Country Elementary School, four of five routes would be eliminated.

At Mount Washington Elementary, one of four routes would be eliminated.

All service would be retained at Lakeland, Samuel F.B. Morse, Bentalou, Frankford, Morrell Park, Westport and Violetville elementary schools and Moravia Park Primary School.

The board said a final decision would be made at 6:30 p.m. May 21.

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