The safety of children not able to receive bus service and confusing wording at the polls of the bus referendum were focal points of community concerns at Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting.
“My wife said they spoke with someone in transportation, they said they had another lawyer look at your referendum, and they said they didn’t understand it,” said Daniel Krause, who also spoke about how the referendum will effect his daughter that will be entering kindergarten.
Krause was one of more than 10 speakers that blasted the language used to inform what people would be voting on at the polls, which was written by Eugene Barnosky, attorney for the school district.
Barnosky said he stands by the language of the proposition and added that the wording used is required under the commissioner’s cases under education law.
Safety was another target of parents Tuesday night, many of which brought up lack of sidewalks and congestion as reasons to not increase the transportation limits.
“I personally live on Meadow Road by Accompsett Middle [School], one side of the road has a sidewalk, the other does not – I live on the side that does not … At what point on Meadow Road do you think it’s safe for my child to cross the street? I live on a blind curve. Twice this year, this winter alone, I had two cars drive up on my lawn due to speeding or icing,” she said.
While speakers demanded a re-vote, Barnosky said that is not possible but the board does have options to create a new referendum concerning changing the now increased limits.
“Conceptually what it will be is not a re-vote but would be now that the limits have been increased … the proposition now if the board chose to put it before voter again would be now to decrease the present limits,” he said.
The passing of the referendum means distances will be increased for children to get bus service to school – at the elementary level the distance will now be one-half mile limit, secondary schools will now have a one-and-a-half mile limit, and private and parochial schools will now have a 15 mile limit.