By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TRENTON – Two months ago, the Trenton Public Schools Board of Education suspended bus transportation service for the 2011-12 school year. District officials said economic realities forced their hand as the $400,000-plus price tag for busing was beyond the budget’s ability for the coming year.
In late June, however, Superintendent Larry Leapley heard from the Wayne County Tax Assessor, and news of delinquent taxes owed the district allowed the board to reinstate busing.
After the figures were reconsidered, the board last week voted to restore bus service for the year.
During its Monday meeting, the panel approved budget revisions to put the buses back on the road … at least temporarily.
“It’s only for one year,” Leapley said of the conditional reinstatement. “But at least we get it back.”
Along with the delinquent tax check for $233,841, the board shifted $170,000 from a $250,000 allocation earmarked for demolition of the William C. Taylor Elementary School and approved $41,535 worth of reductions in order to restore busing for the year. Leapley said that the reductions were line-item decisions including improved insurance rates, scheduling changes and other savings. Anticipated revenues throughout the school year will replenish the funds needed for the elementary building demolition.
“We are looking for additional income over the next few months,” Leapley said. “We think we’ll be able to handle the busing. It’s good for our district and the students, and that’s the most important thing.”
(James Mitchell can be reached at [email protected].)