Tullahoma parents want school bus service in freezing temps - WKRN News 2

Tullahoma parents want school bus service in freezing temps

Posted:
TULLAHOMA, Tenn. -

Some parents in Tullahoma want the city school district to add bus service for all students, a first in the districts more than 100 year history.

Tiffany Smith has a seven-year-old son who attends school in the Tullahoma City School District.

She was shocked to learn that busing is not available to transport her son to and from school.

Smith or her husband takes their child to and from school every day.

"It really breaks my heart for the kids," she said. "I see parents daily pushing their infants in strollers trying to get their kids to school because they are less fortunate and don't have a ride back and forth to school."

Smith called Tullahoma's City School District and was told busing is not a part of the district's budget.

The school system has a small fleet of buses, but they are used for extra-curricular activities and field trips.

One bus runs a daily route to transport children who are handicapped.

"I feel Tullahoma can do the funding to get kids back and forth to school by busses," Smith said. "I have seen kids who are wearing shorts as cold as it is outside with just a jacket on."

Superintendent Dr. Dan Lawson said the school district has never offered daily busing services for all students.

"Certainly when we think about the economic side of this," he said, "Putting more people on the payroll would mean diverting some of the resources that we have away from other areas."

Tullahoma City Schools is a small school district.

It encompasses 18 square miles and serves around 3,500 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

The district built its schools in strategic places around the city to allow for neighborhood schools.

The district's four elementary schools are in each quadrant of the city. There is one middle school on each side of the city and there is one high school.

The layout allows students zoned for the campus to walk or ride their bicycles to school.

"Our city has been terribly active in trying to find sidewalk development and trying to make sure we insure as many children as possible travel to school not via vehicle but by foot or bicycle," Dr. Lawson said.

Parents have complained about the lack of sidewalks on routes to schools.

Dr. Lawson said Tullahoma city leaders are planning upgrades to current sidewalks and adding more sidewalks to make the area more pedestrian friendly.

He said that is the future of transportation for the school district, because expanding bus service is not in the district's immediate plans.

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