Transportation and Education

An article in Sunday’s O (Buses eat up classroom dollars) outlines how 5% of the state’s education spending goes to buses, and the way reimbursement from the state is handled, there are few incentives to try to make this more efficient.

The Oregon Department of Education picks up the tab on most every dollar school districts spend on transportation, from purchasing fuel to buying new school buses to building mechanic shops.

Rural districts, such as the 185-student Jewell School District in Clatsop County with its far-flung bus routes, get back 90 percent.

Economic analysts say such an open-ended match for reimbursing expenses is rare. It doesn’t force the Oregon Department of Education to track how much fuel districts use or encourage school leaders to share money-saving tips.

Time for smarter thinking?

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