Davenport parents working less because their kids aren’t bussed to school anymore

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Davenport, Iowa (KWQC) - In August, the Davenport Community School District cut back on bus routes two weeks before school started to save $200,000.

Max Pixel (MGN)

Parents living off of Hillandale Road said the district called them in August saying they will no longer bus their students to Fillmore Elementary, which is a 30 minute walk and about a mile and a half away.

Those same parents are now saying the district’s budget cut means they’ll have to work less hours to take their kids to school.

Many of the moms also said they don’t have vehicles and they refuse to let their kids walk that far.

Aleshyia Lagrone, a mother of two Fillmore Elementary students, said she carpools up to 10 neighborhood kids to school in the morning.

"That's the only alternative we could come up with,” said Lagrone. “No one wants their kids walking because we all feel it is unsafe."

Timmara Brown, another mother of two Fillmore Elementary students, said if it wasn’t for Lagrone her kids wouldn’t be getting to school.

"We don't know a lot of the kids out here but she takes the majority of the kids that we are around,” said Brown. “For all these little kids that don't have parents with vehicles, they have to walk in the cold and figure it out. That's not ok."

The moms said the walk is too far, there is a busy road, and that there aren't sidewalks the entire way.

"My dad told me to walk on the sidewalk but if there is no sidewalk then I can't stay safe,” said Chloe Newman, a Fillmore Elementary 2nd grader.”

Lagrone said she can’t imagine the kids walking that distance.

"I have in the midst of carpooling had to pull over and pick up some other kids from this area that have been walking along the busy highway right there,” she said. “I've had to stop and tell a few kids to make sure they know there is no sidewalk but to stay in the grass out of the way of the street and the cars."

Lagrone said it's been rough cutting back on her hours. But she said she feels like she has to.

"With the temperatures dropping and the cold coming a lot of kids are going to start missing school because of the degree change,” Lagrone said. “No one wants their kid to walk to school in under 10 degree weather."

Fillmore Elementary kids said they worry about their safety.

"You don't know when a stranger could just come up behind you and take you with them,” said Axarhyia Lagrone, a Fillmore Elementary 2nd grader. “Your teacher might think you're late for school but you're really with a stranger.

Parents said they wonder why an elementary bus route was cut.

"I feel like if they were to cut anyone's buses it should've been middle school or high school because there's a lot of elementary kids that get on this bus,” said Brown.

The kids said they also feel like they're missing out.

"I miss all the kids that live around here that used to get on the bus,” said Timarion Brown, a Fillmore Elementary 4th grader. “We would hangout on the bus and talk to each other.”

Lagrone said she isn’t the only mom who has had to cut her work hours.

TV6 reached out to the Davenport Community School District for comment. The district said no one was in to talk at the time, but that they would try to follow up on Wednesday.

UPDATE:
Mike Maloney, Director of Operations for the Davenport Community School District told TV6 that the district has responded to the parents. However, he said it may not be the response they wanted.

Maloney said it's in the district's policy to allow bus cuts that are less than 1.5 miles from the school. The people that live off Hillandale Road are 1.3 miles from Fillmore Elementary School. He said people who live there are treated like everyone else in the district would be.

He said a lot of areas in the district don't have sidewalks and that there are sidewalks most of the way to Fillmore Elementary.