Former Lakota football star and Super Bowl winner Troy Evans addressed the Lakota Board of Education Monday, June 13, with his plan to head a private busing service that will transport students who have had their busing eliminated due to reductions made to the school district’s annual budget.
This fall, the second phase of the Lakota transportation reduction plan will take effect.
The first phase, which began Jan. 18, 2011, eliminated the busing for all high school students. In addition to high school busing, the first phase of the plan also eliminated busing for students in grades kindergarten through sixth, who live within one mile of the school, and for students in grades seventh and eighth, who live within two miles of the school.
The second phase will kick in at the start of the 2011-2012 school year. This phase will increase the one-mile drive distance to two miles for students in kindergarten through sixth.
Eight days prior to tonight’s school board meeting, Evans sent out flyers to approximately 1,400 families. Since the flyers have been delivered, Evans said that the response has been “unbelievable.” Evans also said that he is receiving move than 30 responses each day. He says that the majority of those responses are from parents who want the service. Meanwhile, many other parents are unsure about the service and worry about the cost.
Evans does not know how much the private busing will cost, which will heavily depend on the number of parents who sign up for the service. On Evans’ flyer, it says that the service will be offered for around $10 a week per child with multiple children family discounts available.
Evans’ brother and sister-in-law, who have students who are impacted by the busing reductions, will likely be the first parents to sign up for the service.
“My brother and sister-in-law were just in a frenzy and didn’t know how it was going to work,” Evans said of the busing reductions. “My brother just works crazy hours and his wife is super busy with three children – how is she going to get to two schools at two different times?”
Evans, who has played professional football for the St. Louis Rams, the Houston Texans and the 2010 Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints, has stayed heavily involved in the Lakota school district community. At recent school events, other parents searching for transportation options have also approached him.
“I also viewed getting on the bus and going to school as a part of growing up and part of the school process,” Evans said. “You learn a lot of social activities on the bus, just like you do everywhere else – on the playground, in the classroom – that aspect is valuable as well.”
The transportation reductions will impact approximately 9,170 students once the second-phase begins. The reductions will also save the district around $2.8 million next school year.
For more information about Evans’ private busing option, email Troy Evans at e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Evans’ private busing website, lbsbusing.com, is currently under construction.
(Photo above: Evans attempts to make a tackle as a member of the Houston Texans)