Sunday, July 25, 2010

Framingham kids walk two miles now to school

In an effort to cut the school budget, the school committee has decided to increase the distance school kids must walk to school. This move will save 500,000 dollars and has parents livid not only over the distance, but with no sidewalks on some roads, no expanded sidewalk snow removal and crossing guards. One parent has walked the route at 46 minutes. Now for elementary students, that will be much longer in time.

My own questions are to the school committee: With more younger kids walking to school, did the school committee check to make sure none of the kids are walking past level 3 sex offenders housing? Is the State liable for any injuries for children walking to school without side walks? Is the Town liable for any injuries children may get if sidewalks are not plowed or crossing guards are not stationed at major road ways? In the event of non planned early release, (snow days) are the children forced to leave the building?

Lastly.... was cutting the buses and increasing distance the only option left? Was cutting school choice ever discussed?

I'll post the answer when I get it from the school department


At July 27, 2010 at 9:59 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

The School Committee's response to my questions:

The School Committee had to reduce its FY11 Budget Request to the Town by over $6,000,000 to meet the Town's appropriation for FY11. As a result, over fifty positions were eliminated and substantial reductions in expense budgets had to be made as well as a reduction in the Transportation Department budget ($500,000). The School Department will be providing transportation in accordance with M.G.L. c. 71, section 68 which requires school districts to transport students in grades K-6 who live more than two miles from their assigned school. As a result of adopting the state standard, the Transportation Department was able to achieve the $500,000 reduction by eliminating ten buses.

Thank you for taking the time to forward your message.

Nancy Ferguson
Administrative Assistant to the Superintendent of Schools

At July 27, 2010 at 10:07 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

Property owners and business with side walks should be aware of the land mark ruling from our SJC made yesterday regarding snow removal. Property owners must make sure the sidewalks are free of ice and snow, regardless of how it got there, regardless if a snow plow pushes snow back on a cleared sidewalk.

I wonder how this might effect a Town or city, as homeowners can be sued if personnel injuries happen as a result of snow and ice on your sidewalks.

At July 27, 2010 at 10:08 AM , Blogger Jim Pillsbury said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At July 27, 2010 at 1:57 PM , Blogger new to blogging said...

Well at least you got a response. That is better than most of us would have gotten. It does sound like we are within the law here in Framingham. I would be interested to see what the regulations are in surrounding cities like Natick, Hopkinton, Millford. How far do their kids have to walk to school?

At August 3, 2010 at 1:14 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hopkinton will bus children within 2 miles of the school for a fee. You would be surprised how many people pay the fee even when their kids live less than .5 mile from the school. But, I agree with the issue that if there are no sidewalks and there are major intersection crossings, having grade schoolers walk within the 2 mile radius is ridiculous. I actually live just off a road at .5 mile from the center and they will not put in a side walk because it is deemed a scenic route. Yet it is narrow, winding, and cars/trucks/SUVs drive 10-15 miles above the posted speed limit. The only crossing guard is directly in front of the school. I am all for fiscal responsibility at schools, but safety has to be taken into consideration.


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