Finding inaccuracies, Leander ISD delays vote on new hazardous routes bus plan

(Courtesy Fotolia)
(Courtesy Fotolia)

(Courtesy Fotolia)

At the May 14 agenda review meeting, Leander ISD trustees delayed a vote on implementing the new hazardous routes formula after learning that two of the 24 neighborhoods that were deemed ineligible for bus service were in fact eligible.

“This past week new information was provided to the district,” Area Superintendent John Graham told trustees during the online meeting. “We reviewed two routes that were scheduled to lose bus service. In our review we determined the residences were over the 2-mile threshold. Therefore, they should not have been recommended to lose their bus service.”

As a result, Graham said LISD will review the remaining 22 areas scheduled to lose bus service due to a new hazardous routes formula. LISD officials have not confirmed the two routes that are now eligible for hazardous route bus service.

Trustees were scheduled to discuss the list May 14 and vote at their May 21 regular meeting, according to LISD documents. Instead, trustees planned a June 11 discussion and June 18 vote.

Superintendent Bruce Gearing said the new review may make neighborhoods slated to lose hazardous routes bus service eligible, but it would not result in currently eligible neighborhoods becoming ineligible for bus service.

“As we review these routes, we may continue bus service for kids who do not have it right now, but we will not withdraw that service from any students from this part of the review process,” he said.

LISD students who live 2 or more miles from campus qualify for bus transportation. Those who live less than 2 miles from their campus must provide their own transportation unless their route to school is graded as hazardous. In those cases, students are eligible for bus transportation.

At its Oct. 17 meeting, Leander ISD’s board of trustees unanimously approved a new hazardous routes scoring matrix. Although described as more detailed and fair, the new scoring matrix made it more difficult for neighborhoods to qualify for bus service within 2 miles of a campus, according to district officials.

Due to changing hazards, such as building and road construction, LISD annually assesses routes within the 2-mile radius.