Our Opinion: Bell Time Study an important example of fixing problems

Published 6:19 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2022

There was no question at the very beginning of the year that busing in Austin needed a fix. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed inefficiencies in getting kids to and from school.

It’s why the Bell Time Study was commissioned by the Austin Public School District in the first place.

Driver shortages during the pandemic helped contribute to this, but overall the district was using a schedule that led to long ride times, mingling of older and younger students and cross-school drop-offs just to name a few.

Not to mention parents, who were frustrated with the busing situation, resorted to dropping their own children off, leading to congestion in front of many schools.

But what stands out is how both the district and Palmer worked to make it right. This was a problem that needed to get fixed, but rather than just make changes, there was a thoughtful approach taken with results we hope will ease the situation and make it more manageable for years to come.

The plan won’t take effect until next school  year, so we’ll have to wait to see just how much the situation changes and if more changes need to be made, but we hope that this is a base from which to further refine the process.

And finally, we hope parents feel this is a solution they can agree on. The district and Palmer went to great lengths to ensure the public was informed on this subject and the board received plenty of public input.

This is how problems get fixed, by realizing the problem and taking the necessary steps to fix the problem.