Wake restores afterschool activity buses

RALEIGH The board voted unanimously to overturn its previous decision to cancel the running of afterschool activity buses.

The school board voted to do away with the service earlier this year to cover a budget deficit, but complaints from parents with students who take part in sports, clubs or other extracurricular activities prompted the board to reconsider the cost cutting measure.

"Given the economy, I think more people have to work," parent Shruti Parikah said. "Especially at a magnet school where you have kids coming from all over town and parents may be working and can't pick their children up afterwards."

It is one of the reasons the late bus is so important.

"It served our athletic program, it served some after school tutorial programs that we had going on here, and it's all about the kids," Martin Middle School Asst. Principal Chris Cox said.

That is why Monday's decision to reinstate them was met with sighs of relief.

Leaders say money to save afterschool busing could come from North Carolina's share of a federal education grant. However, that will soon be gone, as will about $80 million in stimulus money.

"This fed funding is one time funding. It does not recur," Chief Business Officer David Neter said. "The cuts are not optional and they will hurt the only question is where is the pain."

Officials also say another concern is gas prices. If they go up much more, some say what money there is for this program may not be enough.

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