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Workshops Resolve Busing Dispute

Mon., June 5, 1995

What parents started as an angry petition drive has turned into a cooperative plan with school officials to bus children across town.

Their proposal to move all kindergarten students from Ramsey Elementary to Hayden Lake Elementary next fall will go before the Coeur d’Alene School Board tonight.

The board also will hold its annual budget hearing and consider raising school lunch prices at the meeting.

Parents at Ramsey became alarmed after the administration announced it must move about 100 children out of that school.

Other students must be moved from Hayden Meadows Elementary to either Hayden Lake or Dalton elementary schools.

Children from Jana Robnett’s neighborhood were chosen as the likeliest candidates for busing from Ramsey. To make room, Hayden Lake Elementary will get portable classrooms no longer used by Coeur d’Alene High School.

“It will split up Scout troops and sports teams,” Robnett’s petition reads. “Because of the distance it will discourage participation in school activities by parents … your child will be an ‘outsider’ while at Hayden Lake.”

Robnett and others also complained the decisions were being made without their input.

In response, the school district held informal workshops that led to a compromise - the kindergarten idea. In first grade, the plan is those children will return to Ramsey to finish their elementary education.

“The parents said they could live with that,” said Hazel Bauman, director of elementary education. But, she warned, “we can’t guarantee that a child who enters as a first-grader is going to stay through fifth grade.”

Robnett said she still will bring her petition to tonight’s meeting, but it may be moot.

But after the workshop, “we came away with this issue for this year close to being resolved,” Robnett said.

The board will not make any decision on the move until its June 27 meeting.

It is likely to adopt the 1995-96 budget, however.

The $31.5 million budget is almost $1 million more than last year’s budget, but most of the increased revenue came from state funding.

The amount of total tax revenue to the school’s general fund is dropping by $1 million.

In other business, the board may increase the cost of meals to students by 15 cents for breakfast and by 25 cents for lunch.

The price increase is to keep pace with personnel costs, the increased cost of paper and plastics, and the possible loss of some federal funding for school lunches, according to school officials.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Sorensen Elementary School gymnasium.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: Meeting The school board meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Sorensen Elementary gymnasium.

This sidebar appeared with the story: Meeting The school board meeting begins at 7 p.m. in the Sorensen Elementary gymnasium.

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