From: Wayne Reese
To: David Lifferth,
Subject: H.B. 301 School Bus Route Grant Program
Date: Mon Feb 08 15:49:01 MST 2016
Body:
Dear Representative Lifferth, My name is Wayne Reese. I lead the school transportation program for the Cache and Logan School Districts joint effort in providing school transportation for the school children of Cache Valley. In addition to providing to and from school transportation, we also provide field/activity trips for each of the Charter Schools in the Valley. Our desire is to serve all of the families in Cache Valley in the most safe way possible. My concern with HB 301 is simply where the funding for the grant would come from. As noted in the “Pupil Transportation Allocation Formula” report dated November 2015 and submitted to the Legislative committee; state dollars contributed to funding “to and from” school transportation reached a peak of $76,188,776 in 2008, and last year funding was still only $72,099,945. If the grant funding (for HB 301) were to come from the to and from allocation it simply would further dilute the value of each mile and minute for eligible students thus hurting every district who did not apply for the hazard route grant. In my opinion, this will hurt us in Cache Valley, and most every rural district in the state as money is taken out of the to and from funding to help urban districts who have many more hazard routes simply because they are urban and have more students living within 1.5 miles from the school they attend. Several years ago there was the special transportation tax levy which was designed to help, along with other transportation concerns, hazard bus routes. When that tax was rolled into a combined tax, the funding did not end, and so districts still have that option to use local funding to meat those needs, including us folks in Cache County. If the funding for the grant comes from sources outside of the “to and from school” allocation, I have no concern with it. My concern is that the bill is only the first step in getting the language approved to make it possible to eventually take money from the to and from school funding. Thank you for your consideration and worthy efforts, Respectfully, Wayne Reese Transportation Administrator Cache County/Logan School Districts 435-994-0353