Why isn’t there a bus from Oostburg to SCS anymore?
Background: For years, there was a bus from Oostburg to the SCS campus. Since 2020, that has not been the case. Why is this? And what, if anything, can be done about this?
Details: The bus that was historically on this route (Bethel OPC parking lot to SCS) was funded by the Oostburg Public School District. Due to state law, school districts must provide one of two transportation options for private students who reside in their district:
- A bus route/stop
- Transportation financial assistance for each individual private school student who has busing needs outside of the district
What does this mean for my child? In the fall of 2020, Oostburg School District changed their approach above from option 1 to option 2. This means that 9th-12th grade students who reside in the Oostburg School District receive $922.87 (as of Nov 2, 2022) per student per year to cover the cost of transportation to their private school out of district. So the good news- you get paid to transport your child to SCS. The bad news- there’s no bus.
What is SCS doing about this? We have tried, every school year since the OSD decision to switch from option 1 to option 2, to provide busing ourselves. As you can imagine, this is a costly undertaking. SCS is willing to operate this program at a loss (up to $10,000 annually) in order to make this happen, but we need a critical mass of students who live in the Oostburg School District willing to pay for the balance of the cost of busing. To this point, we haven’t seen enough interest to make transportation possible.
How would this work? What are the numbers? If 20 Oostburg area students would pay their $922.87 stipend to SCS for busing, we could afford to run a bus route at a $10,000 loss. This would assume no prorated amount for days when students don’t use the bus. We would be paying a bus company for all costs of transportation (driver, insurance, gas, maintenance) regardless of whether or not a student rides a bus on a particular day.
Other thoughts: Know a bus driver? Our entire cost model could change if we can find safe, certified, reliable drivers within our school community. We would even consider purchasing our own bus in this instance.
Questions? Please reach out to John Warmus at email@example.com