Jesse B. Gill, Staff Writer
Posted: 08/17/2010 06:15:28 PM PDT

The school year began Monday for the Yucaipa-Calimesa Joint Unified School District and the majority of its students are finding a different way to get to class.

The district – like many districts in California – slashed its budget when statewide education funding was cut drastically this year, eliminating bus transportation for general education students for the 2010/2011 school year.

“We realize that transportation is important,” said Superintendent Sherry Kendrick. “We’re trying to protect the core curriculum programs.”

The district has been phasing out bus transportation for its students over a period of time, said Dave Stevenson, the district’s director of Facilities, Planning and Operations.

The district has not provided bus transportation for its high school students for the past 15 years. Two years ago, the district eliminated bus transportation for its middle school students. Last year, the district cut transportation for elementary students who live more than 2 miles away from their schools.

The latest change affects the remainder of the district’s elementary school students.

“Transportation has always encroached on the General Fund beyond what the state gives us and we just can’t afford it any longer,” Kendrick said.

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