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Parent looks to school district to help get bus service for her children

By: Stephanie Dumm, News Messenger Reporter
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Reduction of the school district’s transportation services has affected at least one Lincoln parent. Through tears, Kim Shook addressed the Western Placer Unified School District board of trustees Tuesday night. She expressed frustration about not being able to get her three children to school this year, citing the district’s cancellation of free bus service. “I have three children in special education and I haven’t been able to get my kids to school,” Shook said. “Twelve Bridges Middle School is 30 miles from my home, my car isn’t as good as everyone else’s, my tires might pop and I don’t have enough gas.” Shook said she has called the district office and left messages with administrators but hasn’t heard back from anyone. “I’ll direct you to give Mrs. (Mary) Boyle a call and we’ll do what we can to get your kids back in school,” board President Paul Carras said. When Shook was finished speaking to the board, deputy superintendent Mary Boyle made arrangements with Shook to speak about the matter. “I will follow up tomorrow,” Boyle said. “We definitely want her kids to be able to get to school.” The district had offered free and reduced transportation fees prior to the passing of this fiscal year’s budget, according to assistant superintendent of business Joyce Lopes but the free option was removed along with other budget cuts made to balance this year’s budget. “What we did was eliminate the free busing. There is still the option for reduced,” Lopes said. Superintendent reviewed Western Placer Unified School District board members sang Superintendent Scott Leaman’s praises during Tuesday night’s school board meeting as part of his public performance evaluation. Board president Paul Carras said while Leaman didn’t receive a raise, he did receive a 4.95 rating on a scale of 5. “He’s been a solid leader for the district and it’s unfortunate in this fiscal situation that we can’t give you a raise,” Carras said. Board member addressed the challenges the district has faced, financially, and praised Leaman for his role. “I’ve seen Scott grow in these four years,” Haley said. “He’s a superlative leader.” Board member Terry Gage said Leaman is “forthright, honest and direct in his communication.” Recognizing Leaman’s involvement with procuring Measure J, a $163 million school bond on November’s ballot, board member Paul Long commended the “energy” the superintendent has put into the district. “It has been a pleasure to work with Scott. He collaborates and involves teachers and staff in decisions,” board member Ana Stevenson said. “He has had a tremendous impact on the district.”