Activity Bus Service Pared In Budget Cuts

January 10, 1991|By Dianne Williams Hayes | Dianne Williams Hayes,Staff writer

Activity buses that once took students to club activities at other schools will no longer stop at high schools.

The cancellations werea relatively small part of the school board's attempts to chip away at the system's $8 million deficit.

Also, instead of running three times each week, activity buses for middle school pupils will run only twice a week.

The high schooland middle school changes will save about $180,000 a year.

Schoolboard members grappled with cutting the activity bus program becausesuch a move would especially affect high school students who have noother means of transportation to participate in the after-school activities.

The high school principals who attended yesterday's school board meeting finally approved cutting the entire program, even as board members hesitated. The board later struck a compromise to keep the buses running at the middle schools.

"We have about 20 to 30 students riding the bus," Glen Burnie High Principal Midgie Sledge said. "They are not being utilized at the high school level. It does serve the needs of the underclassmen. Still, I don't think it would cause the disintegration of clubs because the activity bus is not there. It could affect some students."

Severna Park Principal Oliver Wittig agreed.

"We're offering a compromise we prefer not to have to do," he said.

In addition, board members voted to eliminate another$62,000 in transportation costs by reorganizing end-of-semester exams. In the past, bus drivers had to make extra runs to pick up students who were dismissed at different times on exam days.

Other projected savings to balance the school system's budget include:

* $17,000 -- Elimination of special bus service to carry participants in theTeen Parent program at Meade Senior.

* $29,000 -- Reduction in athletic travel.

* $39,000 -- Projected over-expenditure at Arlington Echo for water safety program.

* $10,000 -- Cancellation of the spring gifted and talented program.

* $1 million -- Reduction of contracted school maintenance.

* $1.2 million -- Reduction in instructional supplies and materials budget.

* $60,000 -- Elimination of celebrations and exhibits.

* $50,000 -- Elimination of non-essential travel.

* $10,000 -- Savings on background checks resulting from the hiring freeze.

* $60,000 -- Cuts in staff development consultants and minigrant activities.

* $620,000 -- Elimination of custodial overtime.

* $160,000 -- Lower temperature levels.

* $77,000 -- Shutdown of school system Dec. 26-28.

* $15,000 -- Cutback in frequency of lawn mowings.

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