According to a press release from the Office of California State Senator, Noreen Evans, dated Feb. 2, 2012:
Senator Noreen Evans (D-Santa Rosa), a member of the Senate Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, announced today committee bill SB 81, which would restore $248 million to the Home-to-School Transportation Fund, passed off the Senate Floor 26-8. The bill now goes to the Governor for his signature. “Children can’t learn if they can’t get to school,” said Evans whose district largely consists of rural school districts dependent on the funds to get kids to school. “SB 81 was the result of both houses and both sides of the aisle coming together to find a solution that will get kids to school.”
School districts throughout the state have been in a panic since the 2011 budget trigger cuts were implemented. Schools that rely on home to school transportation programs to get kids into the classroom each day, in order to receive their ADA funds, were hit twice by the cut. The cuts from the 2011 budget fell disproportionally on children in rural areas, children of color and low income children. “Today, thousands of parents and students are relieved to hear our leaders agree we must keep our school buses rolling,” said Allan Clark, president of the California School Employees Association. “School buses are by far the safest way to get kids to school, so we hope the governor will quickly sign this bill.” “Some individuals look at this as a restoration of transportation and keeping the big yellow buses on the road,” said Gary Eagles, Humboldt County Superintendent of Schools. “I would argue that it is a matter of equity and the preservation of educational rights.”
SB 81 was introduced by the Committee on Budget and Fiscal Review, of which Evans is a member. The bill would shift funds to restore a small level of funding for home-to-school transportation. “Home to School Transportation is not a luxury,” said Jim Stewart, Superintendent of the Southern Humboldt Unified School District. “It’s a necessity for students attending rural remote schools. I urge the Governor to sign SB 81 and restore this in equitable cut. Eliminating school buses denies equal access to those most in need of a safe ride to school.”
State Senator Noreen Evans represents the Second Senatorial District, including all or portions of the Counties of Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma. Senator Evans Chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Committee on Judiciary.
- Use the player below to hear or download Terri Klemetson's interview with California State Senator Noreen Evans after SB 81 had passed both the Senate and Assembly. The interview was aired on KMUD Local News on Feb. 2, 2012.
- Use the player below to hear the reaction of Cinnamon Paula, a local parent, to passage of SB 81. The piece, by Terri Klemetson, was aired on KMUD Local News on Feb. 2, 2012.
Editorial Comment: The following is contact information for expressing your feelings to the governor:
- Governor Jerry Brown by phone (916) 445-2841
- e-mail: http://govnews.ca.gov/gov39mail/mail.php
- Mailing address:
Governor Jerry Brown
c/o State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814