A study of Hillsborough school bus schedules prepared by Transportation Supervisor Debra Espinosa discovered several options the district could use to save as much as $1.7 million annually, according to Board of Education member Greg Gillette—although some changes would be "disruptive."
Gillette said Espinosa had asked if she could undertake a study of the district's schedules last year, shortly after she was named head of the department. He added none had been done in many years, so she was told to go ahead.
At the Jan. 16 meeting of the board's Operations Committee, which Gillette heads, Espinosa presented the results of her study, which found adjustments to school starting times could save the district by allowing more condensed bus routes and schedules.
Of the six options Espinosa provided the committee, Gillette said they decided to recommend starting classes at Hillsborough Middle School at 8:30 a.m., instead of 9 a.m., which is expected to save the district $950,000 annually.
He added a plan to change the start time at Hillsborough High School to 7:15 a.m. and Auten Road Intermediate School to about 9:35 a.m. would enable the district to save $1.7 million annually—but this was deemed the most extreme and too disruptive.
"To get anything started, we need to think about one of the less disruptive options," Gillette said.
He said if the board wants to move foreward with the plan, the next step will be obtain public comment and input on the plan.