School bus crisis – information, interviews and photos

According to KMUD News:
In the 2012-2013 California State Budget the Governor, Jerry Brown, proposes a complete elimination of funding for the School Transportation Program. For the Southern Humboldt Unified School District (SHUSD), which on average buses 650 of its 780 students every day, this cut will be disastrous. In response to the state funding cuts, at a special meeting on January 3 about the transportation issues,  the SHUSD Board voted to send layoff notices to all 14 of its transportation employees, including 11 bus drivers.  The threat of loss of school bus service has caused frustration and anger and mobilized residents in rural Southern Humboldt to find ways to restore bus service.

For more background on this issue follow the links below:
Click here for California Watch
Click here for Redwood Times Article: "Sacramento payback led to transportation cuts"
Click here for Redwood Times Article: "School board votes to send layoff notices to transportation workers"
Click here for "The Bus Stop to Nowhere, Southern Humboldt Chapter"
Click here to get parent sample letter protesting transportation cuts.
Click here to get community member letter protesting transportation cuts.
Click here for the Agenda for the Special SHUSD Board meeting Jan. 20, 2012.
Click here for a flyer giving information about "Field Trip" to Sacramento to advocate for reestablishing transportation funds.

To track this crucial community issue, KMUD News has done a series of interviews which can be heard and downloaded using the players below.

  • Use the player below to hear KMUD News Cordinator, Terri Klemetson, interview SHUSD Superintendent, Jim Stewart, as he discusses the details of loss of state funding for school bus transportation and describes the special open-to the- public meeting on transportation issues to be held at 3:30 pm January 3, 2012 at the Redway Elementary School. The piece was aired on the January 2- 6pm KMUD Local News, the night before the special meeting .

{mp3} news/TKintJstewart1-2-12 {/mp3}

  • Bonus Feature- The player below can be used to hear coverage by KMUD Community Journalist, Serena Wells, of the Special Transportation Meeting which took place January 3 at Redway Elementary School. This piece has not been previously aired. During the meeting the SHUSD board voted to send layoff notices to all 14 of its transportation employees, including 11 bus drivers. The photo to the right shows Jackie Carlson, from Miranda, at the January 3 special meeting, giving her views and ideas about what needs to be done about the school bus crisis.

{mp3} news/schoolBoardShorter{/mp3}

  • KMUD News Coordinator Cynthia Elkins interviews Humboldt County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Garry Eagles who discusses how several factors unique to Southern Humboldt make the state budget cuts in school transportation especially severe in the Southern Humboldt Unified School District.  Also, SHUSD Board Member, Susan Thompson, discusses the details of the SHUSD budget, including problems with using reserves to make up for the state funding cuts. This story aired on KMUD News Jan. 6, 2012.

{mp3} news/SchoolBusCutsEagleThompson_1-6-12 {/mp3}

  • In the interview below, conducted by Terri Klemetson and aired on KMUD Local News on Friday, Jan. 13, 2012, SHUSD Board President Dennis O’Sullivan discusses the highlights of the Board Meeting the night before and discusses the details of a rally around school transportation funding which will take place on January 24 in Sacramento.  All concerned community members are invited to participate. In discussing the upcoming rally he said,"I do believe that Southern Humboldt is leading the charge in protecting the rights of children in rural California."  O’Sullivan reminded parents that because of the involvement of buses and drivers that day (Jan 24) there will be no bus service in the district.  A Special Board Meeting will take place Friday, January 20, 2012 from 3:30 to 4:30 pm in Room 7, Redway Elementary School. The purpose of the meeting is to establish an alternative transportation plan in the event that Home to School Transportation is not restored by Sacramento.

{mp3} news/schoolTransportSacrRally {/mp3}


  • Use the player below to hear and download a news piece which aired on Jan. 18, 2012 on KMUD News. Implications of the state school transportation budget cuts and strategies for mitigating the effects of state budget cuts are discussed in interviews with California State Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro and Humboldt County Office of Education Superintendent Dr. Garry Eagles – Cynthia Elkins reporting.

{mp3} news/ChesbroSchoolBusCuts {/mp3}

  • Use the player below to hear a news piece by Cynthia Elkins discussing testimony before the Assmebly Budget Committee regarding SB 81, a bill designed to restore some funding for the Home-to-School Transportation Fund. This piece aired on KMUD on Tues. Jan 31. and begins with testimony by Steve Henderson, a representative from the California School Employees Association.

{mp3} news/SB 81 school bus fnding FINAL {/mp3}

The photos below were taken by Serena Wells at the January 3 meeting at the Redway Elementary School.


Leave a Comment