by Logan Bowe
I love being able to eat breakfast in school before first period – singing isn’t easy on an empty stomach. The issue is that when there are cars lined up for a block on Skillman Avenue with little to no movement at 7:35 AM, I have to leave EXTRA early to get to school on time, and “on time” isn’t early enough to eat breakfast.
100% of students I asked agreed that bussing would help the early morning traffic and should be provided to all students regardless of grade. Meanwhile, 80% of teachers that I spoke with agreed with the notion of bussing for all grades, with one teacher calling it “inequitable” that older grades have no chance at bussing.
An issue with bussing all students at all grade levels, however, is the cost. One teacher argued that while they’d support bussing for all grades, it isn’t an easy thing to fit into the budget. A student who agreed with bussing for upper grades agreed that it’d be most beneficial for the school to provide bussing to 9th and 10th graders since they can’t drive, while giving 11th and 12th graders no bussing due to their ability to drive themselves.
I believe that the best course of action is simply to add a slight fee for Oceanside residents to pay within the proposed budget for next year. A mere $20-$50 per household could cover the funding for all students to get bussing. Of course, the budget needs to get approved. If the people approve it, then it’ll work, and if they don’t approve it, then the people will have made it known that they prefer not to pay extra for the bussing. The district already pays $8,067,287 for pupil transportation. If you’re already paying that much for transportation, is it really that absurd to add another $500,000 to the budget to provide bussing for all grade levels?
Ultimately, I believe that universal bussing should be provided at a price as long as Oceanside residents are willing to pay for it. This way, we can all show up to school fifteen minutes before the first bell and still have time to grab some breakfast.