District enforces transfer student transport rule

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Some Kilgore ISD transfer students are no longer being taken to after-school activities on district school buses.

Transfer students were taken to such activities, such as the Boys & Girls Club, as recently as the lpring 2018 school semester but – as of the beginning of this school year – are no longer being transported via KISD vehicles.

The district has made no changes to rules regarding school bus transportation for transfer students, according to district Transportation Director Mike Brown. The district is now enforcing long-standing transportation rules which say transfer students cannot use district buses for rides to and from school.

“No policies have been changed,” said Brown. “Current policies are being enforced. We are enforcing policies that have always been in place.”

This rule has been in place for some time – KNH has been unable to verify how long it’s been on the books. Reports of students no longer being transported to off-campus after-school activities began last month. At this time, it is unknown why the long-standing rule is being enforced this semester; calls to Brown for clarification had not been returned as of press time Friday.

On the district’s website, a page listing information for transfer students reads: “Parents must assume transportation responsibilities for the transfer student. No bus transportation will be provided.”

Brown said information regarding transportation rules appears on transfer student applications which must be signed by parents or guardians of out-of-district students hoping to attend KISD.

The district currently operates 33 buses to transport thousands of students to and from campus daily. The most recent enrollment numbers for the district show 4,073 students attending KISD. Brown said about 2,000 of them ride the bus.

Public school districts in Texas are not required to provide school bus transportation. The KISD website states school bus transportation “is a privilege offered by Kilgore ISD to eligible students, and is not a state or federal mandate.” Transfer students are not considered eligible for bus services. The district receives a funding allotment from the state to transport in-district students living two or more miles away from their campus. KISD must report transportation data to the state to receive this allotment.

On the agenda for an upcoming KISD board meeting on Monday, Sept. 24, Interim Superintendent Mike Morrison is scheduled to deliver a report to the board concerning out-of-district transfer students. The report is scheduled to take place during “Reports, Discussion and Information” portion of the meeting after Morrison delivers a report on student enrollment. The meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the KISD Administration Building at 301 N. Kilgore St.

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