Thursday Aug 11 2011
70 students to be affected by bus changes
By: Patty McAlpin Lincoln News Messenger correspondent
A local family with six special-needs children attending four Lincoln elementary schools will not be getting door-to-door service this year. Instead, Heather Mayfield-Sorenson said on Aug. 11 she will have to drive to one school, Lincoln Crossing, five times each school day. This year’s budget cuts included eliminating door-to-door bus service for special-needs children, according to Mayfield-Sorenson. “This is a huge impact for us and other families,” said the adoptive mother of a 5-year-old, three 6-year-olds, a 7-year-old and an 8-year-old. “We’ve had door-to-door bus service for four years.” Mayfield-Sorenson is a stay-at-home mom, she said, and her husband works long hours. Western Placer Unified School District Superintendent Scott Leaman said transportation practice changes were made for the upcoming school year, which starts Aug. 24, because of fiscal restraints and budget cuts at the state level. By press time, he had not provided information regarding how much money the district will save. Out of nearly 6,500 students who attend school in the district, the transportation changes will affect less than 70 students, Leaman said. “Western Placer has the best interests of our students at heart and has taken steps to ensure a smooth transition during this period of change so that students who receive transportation from the district continue to have access to their school of attendance,” he said. Mayfield-Sorenson said the transportation changes will cause her to ask that her children all attend the neighborhood school with an aide and impact therapy for two of her autistic children. She is also concerned about safety. “Three of my children are too big for five-point harness car seats and are in boosters seats with a lap belt,” she said. Because of privacy rights, Leaman said, the district cannot comment on specific students.