When discussing the Montezuma-Cortez School District mill levy ballot initiative, I have heard many people comment that the bus routes could be consolidated in an effort to save money.
Attracting bus drivers is very difficult. Every district has perennial job openings for drivers. Because of the limited hours a bus driver works and the timing of the routes, many potential drivers are financially unable to drive a school bus. Having double routes ensures drivers are better compensated making the job more attractive.
As a former elementary school principal, I have some significant concerns regarding consolidation. Some say the older kids will look out for the younger ones. My experience has not supported this argument. I have had numerous parents complain about the things younger students are exposed to, such as poor language, public displays of affection and inappropriate topics of discussion.
By far, bus supervision is one of the most challenging aspects of school discipline. Overcrowded conditions coupled with so many student age ranges makes bus supervision problematic.
Finally, students need to engage in a variety of school-sponsored activities. We need reliable buses to take our students safely to their destinations whether across town or across the state. When a bus is out on an activity run, it is not available for the regular route. I would hate to see activities canceled because of the lack of safe buses or drivers.
Please vote yes on the Montezuma-Cortez School District mill levy ballot initiative.