JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- School bus transportation for as many as seven thousand magnet school students will resume in the fall.
For two years in a row school buses have not transported students to 7 area magnet high schools and middle schools, or back home from after-school activities due to budget cuts in 2011.
The Duval County School Board has given Superintendent Nikolai Vitti a commitment to budget money for magnet school transportation beginning next school year, and to resume after-school activity buses for all middle and high schools.
The change will cost the school district almost $5 million more dollars to provide the transportation. But Vitti says parents urged him to go back to the way it was.
"We heard a lot from parents all around the community that magnet transportation was important, something that needed to be restored if possible, " said Duval County School Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. " We have been looking at the budget since my entry and we have found the money to do it."
Transportation will now be provided to Darnell-Cookman, Paxon, Stanton and Kirby-Smith.
All students can now catch a bus to Landon, James Weldon Johnson, and Lavilla School of the Arts. It would begin on the first day of the next school year, August 19th.
"I am thrilled." Audrey Bamping works at James Weldon Johnson magnet school, and brings her daughter to the magnet school. She's happy parents can now choose a magnet school and not worry about transportation. Bamping says it will really benefit her daughter, especially on early release days.
"Now I will be able to at least have transportation in the afternoon to get her back to the neighborhood, she'll have time to participate in after-school activities."
This should make things more hassle free for parents and students as magnet school students can now ride the big yellow bus to school beginning this fall.
It is estimated that it will take about 100 buses to provide the transportation but numbers won't be final until enrollment numbers are known.
First Coast News