Another Remarkable Idea: Get School Kids off the Buses!

I have a remarkable idea from time to time.  Sadly, it often seems as if no one else recognizes it as remarkable.

These ideas that I have tend to be “twofers.”  That is,  like a “BOGO” bargain at the the local grocery store,  adopting the two policies or practices supposedly manages to get rid of at least two difficult problems.

Last time out in this kind of intellectual venture, a good number of months ago, I explained how the problems of panhandling and of promoting our fair community (keeping in mind our motto is “History, Heroes, and a Hometown Feeling”) could simultaneously and quite readily be enhanced if (1) the panhandlers in our midst were given actual pans to handle as they sought funds needed to buy their “daily bread” and perhaps some nightly shelter as well; otherwise, without using such pans, they would be breaking an ordinance and be subject to arrest;  (2) each pan would be nicely decorated with emblems and images that would serve as  mobile advertisements for the area’s attractions;  (3) each panhandler would be licensed and would pick up his locked pan each day from the convenience store assigned to him; and (4) at the end of his workday, he would return his pan to the store where it would be unlocked,  a record made of the proceeds, and his fair share of the collections would be paid to him.  Two other percentages would go to the convenience store and to city government. All would profit.

Now here is my new idea, which would simultaneously solve the problems of school budget shortages (in particular as they threaten reductions in valuable professional staff and in the size of classes)  and the increasing rates of obesity and diabetes among our student population.

First step:  Eliminate all transportation for students that is now paid for by the school system,  the only exceptions being for field trips,  for athletic travel, and for conveyance of disabled children. If parents wanted their physically able children transported to school,  they would need to pay fees to private bus companies to take care of that need, or else arrange for car pooling with other parents.  Most would likely choose to have their children either walk or ride a bicycle.

Because this radical change would necessitate safe passage for children from home to school and back,  sidewalks and bike paths would need to be built or greatly improved,  and school passage guards would be asked to accompany groups of children or individuals in areas considered risky.  How much would be saved in costs of vehicles and fuels and maintenance?    Numbers ought to be easy to find.

A side benefit here would be that these paths and walkways would be also there for overweight or poorly fit adults to use for their exercise regimen.

The second advantage of this change would be that, by riding their own bikes (or perhaps by using school-provided two-wheelers) or by walking to and fro,  physical fitness of our children would soon be visibly and vastly much improved and,  again,  great savings would be achieved via much less outlay for medical care. (Safety, of course, must be a preeminent concern.)

I don’t know the history of how school systems got in the business of providing free transportation for students.  I never rode a school bus throughout my years attending school from first grade through graduation from high school.  When I look at photos of the classes in my small Kansas high school, I don’t see a single obese child.  If going to and from high school required me to walk the three miles either way, that was just what was done.

Don’t tell me that this proposal can’t be implemented.  My 45-year-old second son can ride his bike seven miles to or from–or to and from–his place of work (in the Seattle area).  If he chooses to catch the metro bus or go via light rail,  he can affix his bike to the bus or walk it on board the monorail and retrieve it as he wants.

It will be easy to fire pot shots at this remarkable proposal.  But it deserves a close and comprehensive study.  Our new Cumberland County Superintendent of Schools, Mr. Till, would be a visionary and a model for change were he to initiate and bring to pass such a remarkable change.

RJR

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3 Responses to “Another Remarkable Idea: Get School Kids off the Buses!”

  1. pen Says:

    Seems like it’s such an easy answer, and yet we are so far away from it, aren’t we?

  2. Mulvay8888 Says:

    “Don’t tell me that this proposal can’t be implemented.”

    It cannot be implemented in this town. There are NO sidewalks. I would like to see this cool plan implemented but, I refuse to send my child to school if he/she has to walk on the roads where so many maniac drivers drive.

  3. Madge Hukle Says:

    Great, fake artificial, specially from the major news corperations with the big slants to the left or right. Did you see last nights O’Rielly factor? haha, that was rediculous! Sorry, I am rambling along once more. Have a Good day!

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