NORTH CALDWEELL, NJ - The North Caldwell Board of Education has announced that as a response to community feedback and as a result of ongoing issues discussed at Board meetings over the last several months, it has initiated an effort to resolve outstanding transportation issues for the long term.
The district currently provides no-cost busing to approximately 75% percent of the student population, which is far beyond the 21percent that it is legally obliged to transport. However, according to the board, due to budget constraints, the district is not able to provide no-cost busing to 100 percent of the student population without significantly affecting academic programs. This has created long-standing inequities in the access to safe and convenient busing in a district where, for all practical purposes, walking is not a safe option for all students, according to the board.
In response to this, the Board's Transportation Committee has been evaluating alternatives including the elimination of most busing services. Following an evaluation of comparable community programs, the committee has recommended to the Board that it pursue subscription-based busing to begin as early as the 2016-2017 School Year. It is anticipated that the subscription fee would be subsidized in order to minimize the burden to the community.
As the Transportation Committee (working with the existing transportation service partner) continues to consider possible designs for this program, they said they anticipate that there will be discussions at the next several board meetings as to whether and how to implement it.
The public is invited to attend meetings for regular updates as to the progress of this initiative or to voice opinions.