Deal is only for one year though, so talks will go on
By Anika Hua
Due to the recent budget cuts of our district, there has been concern for over a year about whether OUSD and AC Transit would discontinue their arrangement to run 50 buses to and from school.
After months of meetings between the two, however, it was announced that the buses will continue to carry hundreds of students to Skyline, Montera, and Community Day, all of which are public schools along the Oakland Hills.
Earlier in the 2016-2017 school year, Skyline was faced with the possibility of having several bus lines terminated, resulting in an outcry of protests.
This would have caused considerable damage to the students and Skyline itself, leaving many without a way to get to school.
Principal Bloom noted that two-thirds of Skyline’s students come to school by public bus, most from lower-income areas far from the campus situated in a wealthy, hills neighborhood.
“If that [bus service] goes away, those kids go away. If it is reduced to a neighborhood school, that would completely segregate it,” Bloom was quoted as saying by the Oakland Post. “That’s not OK.”
She blamed concern about the bus service for underenrollment at Skyline, which has cost the school budget money.
“We can’t wait until May to know what is happening,” she said. “Families are already making up their minds for next year. We can’t leave huge numbers of families in the dark.”
What will happen to the hundreds ot students that rely on the bus to get to and from school everyday? What can be done to ensure the security of our future mode of transportation?
Another issue that has come to the attention of the Skyline community is the idea that students are still required to pay to get on the bus even though OUSD pays for the AC Transit to provide us with their services.
11th grader, Nathan Van, voiced his opinions on this situation,“Ya boi is broke too okay, so I think we shouldn’t be required to pay to get on the bus or at least make it available for students who are low-income.”
The idea of not having AC Transit commute to Skyline has also concerned him as he says, “If the buses are no longer available, ya boi can’t go home.”
While it is a small victory, the debate over bus usage beyond the 2018-2019 school year continues on.
Buses will continue to run for the rest of the year, but the decision beyond that is still up in the air. The buses are here to stay, for now, and we have only been given a little breathing space.