Ongoing Series { Investigating Hawaii's rising school bus costs.

Taken For A Ride: Ed Board Considers How To Fill A $17M Hole

flickr: Caitlinator

Seventeen million dollars. That's the hole the Hawaii Department of Education has to fill in its school bus budget. 
 On Tuesday the Board of Education is expected to hear an official recommendation from the department on how to cover the shortfall.

The options on the table include cutting numerous routes and expanding the distance a student has to live from school to qualify for bus service. But a more comprehensive overhaul was also discussed when the board took up the topic at its April 3 meeting.

Hawaii lawmakers agreed last week to provide $25 million for student transportation services. This is $2 million more than the Senate had initially proposed and well above the $20.3 million that was in the House version of the budget bill. But it’s still far from the $42 million the DOE says it needs to maintain services.

"It's going to be very difficult to fill in that $17 million gap," Senate Education Chair Jill Tokuda said last week.

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