Newfane Central Schools are beginning the new school year with a drastic cut in bus aides, but an increase in bus cameras.
In a letter to parents, Superintendent Michael Baumann says transportation costs have risen nearly 50 percent since its contract with Student Transportation of America (Ridge Road) was rebid this past year, and having a bus aide on every elementary run is "a luxury" the district can no longer afford.
Aides on elementary runs have been cut from 14 to 4, and those four aides will rotate among the runs each day. He says there will be no change to aides on special education and pre-K bus runs.
As for cameras on buses, Baumann says many buses have had cameras for years, but they have now been added to all buses, as encouraged by New York State.
"I have every confidence that the bus driver’s employed by Ridge Road are exceptionally well trained and
absolutely capable of keeping our children safe, with or without an aide on board," Baumann says.
Baumann did not return a call from WBFO for comment.