By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Area public school districts that transport students in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia will soon be altering plans for next year, when the students are transitioned to new schools, because of the just-announced closings and mergers.
Pennsylvania state law obligates local public school districts to give parochial students a lift. In the suburbs, the transportation offices of the respective school districts plan bus routes and pickup points, for students within a 10-mile radius.
The Transportation Director in Springfield Township, Montgomery County, Wayne Johnston, doesn’t think most local districts will absorb increased costs. “Anytime you consolidate, it should make your life easier.”
In Springfield, three schools will be consolidated into one, as they merge with St. Alphonsus.
“It’ll put more kids on the bus, but I don’t think it’ll exceed the capacity of the bus we’re running to the three different schools.”
In Philadelphia, the School District provides transportation for students who live over 1.5 miles away.
Spokesman Fernando Gallard says they don’t yet know how the changes will affect transportation services.
“If we do see the number of students that have to travel farther away from their home, there will be an increase in cost to the School District of Philadelphia.”