Due to budgetary constraints, Cy-Fair ISD’s board of trustees approved a transportation services reduction plan June 17 to save about $4.78 million in the fiscal year 2024-25 budget.

The district anticipates a $77.5 million budget shortfall despite this decision as well as the elimination of more than 600 positions districtwide.

“Transportation for general education students is not a required service for public education. This service has been offered in CFISD for years as a benefit to the students and community. However, due to budgetary constraints, the district must make difficult decisions, including reducing transportation services for families residing within our district,” officials said in an online FAQ posted June 26.

Parents can find out if their student is eligible for bus service in 2024-25 by inputting their address here.

The details

The plan for 2024-25 includes:
  • Not serving elementary students within 1 mile of their campus, or middle or high school students within 2 miles of their campus unless they live on routes with hazardous traffic conditions
  • Eliminating late bus runs
  • Eliminating service to alternative learning centers
Parents and guardians are now responsible for getting their children to and from school if they do not meet eligibility criteria.

Hazardous conditions, as defined by the board, vary between elementary, middle and high school levels but may include:
  • Crossing a tollway, state highway or FM road
  • Crossing a moderately or heavily traveled roadway with protected crossing, such as a traffic light or stop sign
  • Crossing a railroad track
  • Walking along a moderately or heavily traveled roadway without a safe walking path
To determine eligibility, district officials measured the shortest route from students’ campuses to their homes, meaning some neighborhoods may have both eligible and ineligible students.

CFISD officials also said they were working with homeowners associations, municipal utility districts and county leadership to address safety concerns.

According to the district’s website, the transportation department has been transporting 75,000 students and completing more than 4,000 runs between campuses each school day.

What they’re saying

Parents at the June 17 meeting expressed concerns about increased vehicular traffic, potentially dangerous walking and biking conditions, students having limited access to after-school activities, and a lack of communication of these changes to parents.

Brandy Lee Dawson-Marsh, a parent of a rising sixth grader, pre-K teacher in CFISD and vice president of the Coles Crossing HOA, said she believes infrastructure issues need to be addressed to maintain safety under this new plan, including sidewalks connecting schools to neighborhoods and bike racks being installed on campuses.

She said she believes students are at risk of being hit by cars or kidnapped and potentially sex trafficked—especially when daylight saving time ends in the fall and it gets dark earlier in the day.

“And finally, with regards to the traffic patterns at Spillane [Middle School] and Cy Woods [High School], these schools both start at the same time. Without added infrastructures and with the increased traffic flow, how are parents supposed to drop off students at one school and then navigate the traffic to drop off a student at the other?” she said.

Remember this?

This is not the first time CFISD reduced bus service due to funding limitations. According to district documents, CFISD implemented a similar plan in 2009-10 until the 2014-15 school year following the passage of a bond referendum.

The 2014 bond included additional buses and a new transportation center.