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How do you think school districts can save money on food and fuel costs?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on July 9, 2008

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Photo of Robert Yoe

“To save on the gas budget, they would need more fuel-efficient vehicles or need to partner with the local mass transit system. As far as saving on food, that’s more difficult. I suppose they could have a sack lunch day once a week.”

Photo of Beth Klemer

“Four-day school week - same thing for work. I never did care much for either one.”

Photo of David Campbell

“I would say raise the minimum distance they can live away from the school and still get free bus service, because a lot of kids could walk who don’t. And they should still offer a nutritious lunch, just maybe reduce the number of items.”

Photo of Kevin Bilderback

“If they can’t reduce the use of buses, they could at least try to reduce the use of their utility vehicles. They could also alter school hours a bit to take advantage of the natural heat during the colder months.”

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kugrad 9 years, 11 months ago

The problem with kids walking to school is not safety, it is LAZY. Lazy parents, lazy kids. When we were kids, we always walked in groups anyway. Provided that there are sidewalks in your neighborhood, there is no reason for your children not to walk to school if you live within about a mile of the school (with some obvious exceptions if they have to cross a really, really busy street). We didn't walk uphill both ways for 5 miles in each direction through blinding snow when we were kids, but we certainly walked over a mile to school and it was the foundation of good health too. We also arrived at school awake and ready to learn. On top of that, we learned a lot during the walks.

trinity 9 years, 11 months ago

lol good catch metalq2! i wonder, honestly, how sports activities are funded? so many sports especially in the neck of the woods i live in, are sooo far away! approximately an hour or so, to travel to a football, soccer, baseball, basketball game? or other type of extracurricular event? who pays for this? just seems to be sort of a luxury that these days, is over the top extravagant. i've always been curious about this.

METALQ2 9 years, 11 months ago

Check out the T-shirt behind Mr. Yoe. Good job LJW

mom_of_three 9 years, 11 months ago

And clogged jayhawk, I posted my response before I read your response. My kids do walk home from time to time from South, in groups of friends, but since not too many want to do it, my kids don't do it very often. If there was a safe route from Prairie Park area to South, I think my kids would walk more or ride their bikes. As a crow flies, I bet it's less than a mile.

deskboy04 9 years, 11 months ago

Maybe the school district could get rid of some of the middle management staff.

grimpeur 9 years, 11 months ago

kugrad gets the cigar!The problem with the "safety" issue mentioned by sunshine is that the danger is grossly exaggerated, misplaced and is in fact more likely to come from someone familiar with a child. The director of the KS Dept. of Corrections has stated that policy built on the myth of "stranger danger" is "irresponsible."From the KSDOC website: "Housing restrictions appear to be based largely on three myths that are repeatedly propagated by the media: 1) all sex offenders reoffend; 2) treatment does not work; and 3) the concept of "stranger danger." Research does not support these myths, but there is research to suggest that such policies may ultimately be counterproductive."QED. Let the kids walk. Together. With a parent to chaperone the group. Driving yet another car, especially if it's carrying only one child, into the mess of unnecessary cars already plaguing our schools and neighborhoods presents more of a safety hazard to everyone than all the imaginary and real kidnappers combined. As for the poor drivers sunshine mentioned, perhaps if sunshine and other parents, students, faculty, school neighbors and citizens worked to make safe places for kids to walk, and to restrict motorized traffic in school and pedestrian areas, instead of rationalizing unnecessary driving by invoking myths about safety and clamoring for more parking at schools, then they'd feel better. "All the cars make it unsafe for my kid to walk. So I'm adding another car."Mmmmkay.

dragonfly0221 9 years, 11 months ago

Why not wait till after Labor Day to start school so we are not having to use A/C as much, then keep school in the first few weeks into June. It is not ever as hot in June as it is August.

Left_handed 9 years, 11 months ago

Lengthen the school day and attend four days a week. Serve more beans, which are nutritious and naturally high in soluble fiber.

average 9 years, 11 months ago

mom_of_three: I've thought for YEARS that that a pedestrian/bike path connecting South Junior High to Prairie Park (probably along Kiowa street on HINU and a pedestrian light at 27th/Haskell) is needed. Honestly, a lot more needed than the proposed East Lawrence rail-trail, though it would tie in nicely to that.

Kat Christian 9 years, 11 months ago

the problem with kids walking to school is safety. Remember we have a growing number of sex offenders moving into Lawrence. I would worry myself to death if my 8 year old walked to and from school everyday. also these crazy college age drivers who come to town - when University starts the accident rate rises. No way - safer that I drop him off. Unless they hire crossing guards at every other corner to see that children get safely to school and back.

Wendy magillicutty 9 years, 11 months ago

and just think, we're rated one of the most walkable cities in the nation! where did they mean exactly? I am scared to take my kids around the park--on the sidewalk--because of the traffic and that's crazy!The 30 minutes didn't bother me at that age, although I cant say I didnt resent the kids that did get bussed. However, they would NOT bus under a mile or two at that time...well I cant actually remember the exact distance (too long ago) but I have a vague memory of only out-of-towners riding...but that could be resentment clouding my judgment. Speaking of resentment, my parents couldnt take me because they were already at work. I was a latchkey kid. And just look at me now! Able to post on the in'ernets 'n' evrythin'.

mom_of_three 9 years, 11 months ago

Some kids can't walk to school because there is no safe way to get there. And at the moment, the T doesn't have routes which correspond to the various school start times. But the schools can make sure busses are used strategically when taking kids to sporting events, and such. For example, don't have a bus take kids to Leavenworth and then drive it back to lawrence for it's bus route, and then back to leavenworth. that is a waste.

mom_of_three 9 years, 11 months ago

No, KU grad. In my neighborhood, it's safety. We live in SE Lawrence, and there is not a safe, effective way to get to South junior high from the Prairie Park neighborhood. They have taken a long, meandering walk home school on occasion, such as nice weather. No way could they walk the route to school - not enough time. They also walk from South to the T stops on 23rd street to get home, instead of taking the school bus because of activities and sports. And in the Prairie Park neighborhood, there are numerous sex offenders listed. Thankfully, the one across the street from the elementary school moved.

Wendy magillicutty 9 years, 11 months ago

p.p.s. oops, now that sounded like a judgment on you, sorry. I meant 23rd street sucks for all.

Wendy magillicutty 9 years, 11 months ago

to Mom of three:I posted before yours appeared, no kid should come near 23rd street. Not in a car, not on a bus, not by foot, not at all!

kugrad 9 years, 11 months ago

Well Mom 'O 3, your situation is the sort of exception I am talking about - except that you don't even live within a mile or so of the school. What I was saying is that most can walk IF they live within a mile or so. Once they get out of Elementary, it is harder, but they can certainly walk a bit further. Still, from Praire Park to South doesn't sound like it would work. I'm not saying everyone can walk, but that a LOT more kids can walk than do walk. The sexual predator fear is massively overblown in terms of the chance of a random attack of kids walking to school together.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 11 months ago

Down size the use of the yellow school buses and have parents buy passes for the KU/T bus service,provide more spaces for students to lock up bicycles and encourage children to walk more.Don't think about cutting back on healthy eating.Audit the school district to discover how operations could be more prudent.

Wendy magillicutty 9 years, 11 months ago

sidewalks? who needs sidewalks. back in MY day...Harvard is not a through street, we had to cut up the hill from Lawrence Ave to get to, I think Stewart? anyway to get to WJH (go warhawks!). There's a house there now. Anyway, it took me 30 minutes to walk from home to school and vice versa; that's just how it was. Kidnapping is NOT actually a crime on the rise. Most cases are non-custodial parents taking the child. We just hear about them faster and more efficiently now. So, don't marry a jerk and divorce 'em and your kids will be safe from 'napping.(on a side note...I think D.L. Hughley has the right answer on this one; teach your kids to cuss. If a child said "I dont know this M.F!!!!!" people would turn and look." amen)

mom_of_three 9 years, 11 months ago

clogged jayhawk, we agree. I worry about them walking on 23rd street, even with sidewalks. So close to busy traffic. If the T could make their routes correspond to school start or end times, more kids might take the T.

mom_of_three 9 years, 11 months ago

Prairie Park is 2.48 miles from my house, shortest route by bus. And since there isn't a direct route from my house to South, they would have to walk it. 2.48 miles takes a little while. The first route is down 31st street. And since we don't see too many pedistrians on that street, I don't see it as a likely option. Another option is up 23rd street, and through the neighborhoods. Let's see, lots of traffic on Haskell, and on 23rd, trying to get there on time... Hmm no. Sorry if your parents couldn't drive you and it took you 30 minutes to walk to school. The last way is to cut across Haskell street, past the businesses, and through Haskell University property, among others, but I am sure there are a few fences, and that again may not be time efficient or safe. It seems a little more time efficient and safe to drive my kids. I used to walk home from time to time in my junior high years, over a mile and a half, so I know what it's like. Also used to walk from my grandparents, which was half a mile away from school. No sidewalks, on a truck route, and then cross the railroad tracks. Don't know why my parents or grandparents let us do that, because there were lots of stupid drivers. So why would I let my kid walk?

Bone777 9 years, 11 months ago

Two days a week of sack lunches from home. Fewer bus stops. The kids could walk a mile or get dropped off at the bus stop.

hail2oldku 9 years, 11 months ago

Get rid of the early dismissal on Wednesdays. Adding that time back into the calendar, the actual school year could be shortened. Fewer days in school means fewer days running buses, feeding kids, heating/cooling the buildings, shorter "contracts" for the administrative staff in each building, etc., etc.

Kookamooka 9 years, 11 months ago

Figure out how the itinerant teachers can carpool or have them at one location the whole day and another location the next. Travelling between schools means the district has to reimburse the gas for the trips. I'll bet if they add that up, it isn't insignificant. The sad thing is...they will probably cut music and art. It already costs the average family 250-300.00 a year to send the kids to school without transportation and sports. That's just instructional fees. The district got tax money this year but they decided to sink it into astroturf. That wasn't what I voted for. Where is the budget! I wanted to see the first year teachers make a little more so when the old ones retire, the district can attract decent first years. That doesn't look like it's going to happen. I don't know what the answer is.

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