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Manteca USD cutting more bus service
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With the first day of school right around the corner, more students of the Manteca Unified School District may opt to furnish their own rides to and from school.

As a cost-cutting move to ease the budget shortfall, the school board approved several months ago to further streamline the home-to-school transportation plan.

Gone are the services at Lathrop High consisting of the three buses shuttling to Sierra High and the other to Weston Ranch. But district officials say buses here are no longer necessary since the West Lathrop Road campus has finally completed the transition to that of a comprehensive high school.

Add French Camp School to the “no bus zone.”

That’s the term established by the district, in this case, kindergarten-through-eighth-grade students residing within a 1.25-mile radius of the campus to walk or provide their own means of getting to and from school.

French Camp just earned its way out of state’s program improvement status – the school received all of the Title I federal money for the past few years – and was placed under the same standards as that of the other elementary sites in the district.

The transportation department under the direction of Jason Osborn has plans of tweaking the high school routes.

He said at the May school board meeting that several routes at Sierra, Manteca High, and East Union were running below capacity last year and talked about combining or re-routing those routes in order to provide a more efficient operation.

The district will no longer have buses from Manteca High and Calla High going back and forth to the Regional Occupational Program at Lindbergh Educational Center.

In addition, Manteca Unified found savings in transportation by completing the lease payments of two buses purchased back in 2004 and the eliminating the Spectrum bus service once needed for special education students.

All told, the district hopes to save over $500,000 based on the 2009-10 and 2010-11 transportation plans.

The first day of school is Monday.

More information can be obtained by contacting any of the school sites or the district office at 209-825-3200.