For rural districts, like New Berlin, buses are a lifeline for some students. Some students live as far as 20 miles away. Without the school buses they would be stranded.
It doesn't help that the $150 million in state funding cuts is making it a lot tougher for districts. This year the state is paying about 75% of the total cost. Next year they will be cutting it to just 19%.
By law, schools still have to provide transportation for students regardless of state aid. That means local districts will be forced to take on hundreds of thousands of dollars in extra costs next year.
Half of this fleet is too old to be on the road. In New Berlin they can't just pile more kids onto fewer buses. It would cause the ride for some students to be too long.
The cuts aren't just affecting transportation. Everything is taking a hit including classrooms. It would take the salaries of about three teachers.