As we get ready to embrace autumn, we’re also looking ahead to the election, because Bellingham Public Schools is running a school bus levy in November. I’m happy to answer any of your questions in the comments section.

If this is the first time you’ve heard this, you may want some background. An advisory group made up of students, staff, parents and community members made a compelling case to run a levy this fall.

Here are the three main reasons we’ve decided to pursue the school bus levy:

1) Safety. We have an aging fleet, and need to replace our oldest buses. Keeping our students safe is a top priority. That includes bell-to-bell at school, as well as transporting kids to/from school, field trips and after-hours activities and sports.

2) Demands and needs for school bus service are growing. We are seeing significant increases in specialized transportation for students who are homeless and for those with special needs. Our teachers and staff are seeing more opportunities for our students to learn beyond the classroom (i.e. field trips!), which means we need newer/additional/better means for getting them safely and reliably where they need to go.

3) To be good stewards. We don’t ask for levy dollars unless we really need to, and a school bus levy doesn’t take away other funding from the classroom and our students’ learning needs. In addition, new buses are much more environmentally friendly and less expensive to fix and maintain.

You can read more about the school bus levy here.

I look forward to your comments and questions!

Comments (5)

  • “Please vote on Nov. 8. ”
    Dr. Baker –
    I wish I could. I’ve been living in Bellingham since 2006 …

    • Hi Dr. Hajos, it’s not too late to register to vote. Many would say it’s an important election! Thanks for commenting on the blog.

  • If this levy is approved, will it be used to address our students’ current inability to transport musical instruments to and from school? Currently any instruments larger than a backpack are not allowed on the school busses. This presents a significant barrier to music students and a significant challenge to those students’ working parents.

    • Hi Mona, Thanks for your question. The reasons larger instruments are not currently allowed on buses are somewhat complex and involves state laws as well as safety concerns. We are brainstorming possible solutions but at this point have not found easy answers. We know it’s a desire for students to bring their instruments on our buses and I’m hopeful we will figure out how to do so…stay tuned, and thanks for inquiring.