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Davenport listening session to mull school transportation cuts

Davenport parents will get a chance to talk about proposed school transportation cuts. That’s as the district looks to save millions of dollars in coming years.

That listening session will take place at Davenport Central High on Wednesday evening, from 6-7:30 p.m., in the school cafeteria.

Some 7,000 Davenport students use the school bus. But the district must continue budget cuts. That means it could slice nearly $400,000 from transportation programs.

“We don’t want to come up with these kinds of cuts either,” said Operations Director Scott Martin. “We wish we had the money to continue and do the programs that we do.”

They’ll consider expanding the school walk zone to two miles and ending busing for students who don’t qualify for free service.

At the Scott County Family Y in Davenport, the district could eliminate bus service for before and after school programs.

“A lot of parents are using this so they can go out and work during the day or go to school during the day,” said the Y’s CEO Frank Klipsch. “Anything that disrupts that process for these families, it makes it a challenge.”

While many Davenport schools also offer before and after school programs, the Y’s programs often start earlier and end later, which is more convenient for parents. The Y also remains open when school isn’t in session.

“We are hoping we can find creative ways to get the kids to and from school and also support these parents and their families,” Klipsch said.

While transportation cuts may be inconvenient and irritating, it keeps more funding aimed at education and learning.

“We need to find places that are away from the classroom,” Martin said. “This is one of those areas.”

A tough discussion during challenging times that will get community input. The school board will make a final decision next spring.

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