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District to cut 200 bus driver positions, change school start times

Updated Friday, April 8, 2011 | 3:22 p.m.

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The Clark County School District will eliminate 200 bus driver positions and change the start time at 139 public schools beginning in August to address $411 million in proposed budget cuts next year.

The changes have been in the works for two years and would save the district $10 million, or the equivalent of 143 teaching positions, CCSD officials announced Friday.

The school district now employs 1,350 bus drivers. Because the school day is being changed, bus drivers will complete more routes during their shift, eliminating the need for 200 drivers, officials said.

CCSD officials said they hope to address most of the cuts through attrition and the 75 bus driver positions currently vacant. No timetable is set for the district to send official notices to bus drivers.

Despite the layoffs, students outside a two-mile walking radius still will quality for bus transportation, officials said. In addition, buses will remain segregated by school levels, meaning students from different levels will not be riding on the same bus.

The school district also announced it is changing the school bell schedule for 139 schools, 70 of which will see a change of more than 30 minutes. Most of the schools are starting later -- although some will start earlier -- with changes ranging from five minutes to 70 minutes. There will be no effect on the amount of instructional time.

“These are very difficult times and everyone must work together and share in the sacrifice as we try to save money,” said Dr. Lauren Kohut-Rost, deputy superintendent of instruction. “Students’ families will have their routines change a bit, and this can be a challenge with siblings of various ages, so we want to give parents plenty of time to start thinking about how they will accommodate the needs of their family.”

Additional minor changes to bell times may still occur, but a complete list of 2011-12 school bell times is available online at www.ccsd.net. Parents may also contact their child’s school for more information.

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