South Bend Community School Corp. postpones bus route changes

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) The South Bend Community School Corporation is postponing bus route changes until the beginning of the next school year.

The changes had been scheduled to begin on Monday, February 3.

“Parents’ opinions matter, and we have heard from many of them that changing bus routes at this point in the school year would be more disruptive than helpful, so I have decided to wait to implement these changes until August,” Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings said in a letter Monday, which you can read below.

“In my ongoing quest to improve the transportation problems that have plagued the corporation for years, and to save money for the district, the decision to change bus routes at this time of year was premature. Waiting until the start of the next school year makes the most sense for our students and families,” Cummings went on to say.

There are currently 881 routes, but the changes will reduce that number to 736.

Not only will this help cut down miles, it will save roughly $3,000 a week in gas.

"You're putting your savings above the kids' safety right now," said parent Andrea Kirkpatrick on Saturday.

Parents had received a letter in the mail outlining their new route, bus number, pick up times and locations, but some said they are not too happy.

"My biggest concerns are that you are completely disrupting kids' lives right now. You are forcing them to learn new bus routes. You are forcing them to learn new bus drivers, and school has been going on for months now. This should have been done either before school started or it needed to wait until after school was over," Kirkpatrick said.

From Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings:

“Parents’ opinions matter” is the impetus for South Bend Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings’ decision to postpone changes to bus routes until next fall.

Plans to change some South Bend Community School Corporation bus routes, reduce the amount of time students spend on busses, and streamline the number of routes, have been pushed back, according to Superintendent Dr. Todd Cummings.

The new bus schedules will not take effect until August, 2020, at the start of the next school year. They were previously planned to begin Monday, February 3.

“Parents’ opinions matter, and we have heard from many of them that changing bus routes at this point in the school year would be more disruptive than helpful, so I have decided to wait to implement these changes until August,” Cummings said.

“In my ongoing quest to improve the transportation problems that have plagued the corporation for years, and to save money for the district, the decision to change bus routes at this time of year was premature. Waiting until the start of the next school year makes the most sense for our students and families.”

This decision will be announced at tonight’s School Board meeting, starting at 5:30 at Clay High School.