Licking Heights Begins School Week Without Busing

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One of the first cuts following Licking Heights School District's failed levy started Monday morning.

Students who typically used district buses to get to school were forced to find an alternative way to and from school after busing came to an end on Friday afternoon.

Superintendent Phillip Wagner said that the district did everything it could to prepare for the busier than normal traffic Monday morning in front of the school.

"We really don't like this, but we're at the point where we're cutting so deep," said Wagner. "We have lanes, we have cones, we have signs. We've published a map to give parents some direction."

But Monday afternoon Cable Road was congested with heavy traffic outside of the school as frustrated parents waited in line to pick up their kids.

Approximately $2.8 million have to be cut by the end of the school year.

The loss of busing affects more than 500 high school students.

"I came super early because I wasn't sure how the traffic line-up is going to be. So I don't know, it's going to be tough," said parent Pam Mogavero during the morning.

"It is difficult. How can they get the kids to come here, all the way down, if they don't have cars?" added parent Aden Omar.

Some students had to walk and others car pooled.

"We're going to be OK. This is a bad situation, not ideal, but we'll get through it," added Wagner.

The district estimates cutting busing will save more than $100,000. School officials said that more than 40 staff members will eventually be let go because of the levy failure.

The upcoming winter weather concerned some parents this afternoon.

"It's fine like a day like today, but when it's sub-zero temperatures, what are we suppose to do?" said grandparent Nelson Kuehner.

Wagner said that pay-to-play costs could be as high as $475 for each student per year. He said that high school and elementary school staffing would be cut before mid-year.

If the levy had passed, the district said it would have generated $4.3 million.

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