Parents make emotional pleas over bell times

April 18, 2012 2:18:30 PM PDT
Parents concerned about proposed changes to the bell schedules at Green Hope High School, Davis Drive Elementary, and Davis Drive Middle Schools made their voices heard Monday evening in a meeting with Superintendent Tony Tata.

More than 400 people signed a petition asking the school system to reconsider a big change to their morning routine.

"I'd be happy with a 30 minute change over this hour and a half," one parent in the crowd told Tata.

If the change goes through, Davis Drive Elementary would begin at 9:15 a.m. Davis Drive Middle School would start at 7:30 a.m. Nearby Green Hope High School would begin at 7:25 a.m.

The elementary school currently starts at 7:45, the middle at 8:15, and the high school at 8:05.

Some parents said it could mean a drastic time difference requiring driving to and from campus four times each day.

Tata told parents at the meeting that he came to listen but he's not promising any changes.

He explained the district needs to change bell times to relieve its already overburdened network of school buses. The district also faces a $3 million cut in state funds.

"I don't want to cut teachers. I don't want to cut any other personnel, because we are very bare bones," said Tata.

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