In August 2016, 73% of participating district voters approved a $1.95 million transportation bond issue. The main selling point for that bond issue was to update the district's bus fleet with 15 new route buses, replacing buses dating back to 1998 or earlier.
Two brand new route buses were received on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 and promptly put into service. The district hopes to have a couple more in service the following week. All 15 of the new route buses should be received by May 2017.
The bond issue is also funding the purchase of two activity buses and two smaller people-mover vehicles. All four of those vehicles will feature Bruins graphics on their exteriors. The activity buses should be delivered by the second week of May 2017. The people-movers are also in the pipeline.
The new buses will be both cheaper to operate and to maintain than the old buses being retired. This will reduce the district's operating costs as it faces continued state revenue failures for public education.
The community also passed a $17.5 million bond issue in August to support district operations. This has made it possible for the district to shift $450,000 in general fund expenses to bond funding for the current fiscal year (the bonds could not be sold until December, partway through the fiscal year). This is helping the district weather a projected $900,000 net loss in state funding for the 2016-2017 school year.
In future fiscal years, that bond issue will allow the district to shift $700,000 in annual operating expenses from the general fund to bond funds. The support of our community is helping our public schools deal better with this continuing long-term crisis of inadequate state funding.