Jack Highberger

Mesquite ISD Cuts Bus Routes to ‘Improve Efficiency,' Some Parents Unhappy

Starting this year, Mesquite ISD says it has consolidated or eliminated "about 30" school bus routes to improve efficiency.

"There is no reason to have an inefficient system or one that is not up to date on current standards," District spokesperson Laura Jobe said.

The changes come after a district audit that follows Texas Education Agency guidelines and includes the elimination of routes of less than two-miles.

"He's been able to ride the bus all these years and then all of sudden they changed it," Yasmeen Johnson said.

Johnson's 8th grade son Nathaniel is now taken to school by a private driver because a medical condition prevents her from driving. GPS shows the family's home is 2.1 miles from Terry Middle School but the district audit placed it at 1.9.

"We are just kind of stuck all the way around," Johnson said.

Her son is also in orchestra and has to carry his violin home to practice, adding a strain his mother felt made the two mile commute each way on foot unrealistic.

"I feel like we have really done our best to communicate with parents and make sure they understand our reasoning and we are still communicating, we are still answering questions about it," Jobe said.

The district notified parents of the change in early June but finalization of which routes would be impacted didn't come until two days before school, according to Johnson.

"We tried contacting the district and they didn't really respond," Johnson said.

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