Last May, voters in the Pearl River School District approved a reduction to the area in which Pearl River High School students are able to ride the bus.
Parents came to complain about the change at multiple meetings of Pearl River Board of Education this fall. They were told there was nothing that could be done for 2011-12, but that they could submit a petition to put the matter on the ballot again in May of this year.
A group of over 100 parents did just that before Monday's deadline, submitting a petition for a citizen-initiated ballot item for the upcoming May 15 vote in the Pearl River School District. The petition calls for a return to the bus limits as they were for the 2010-11 school year, which would be 1.5 miles for all students.
The limits were changed for 2011-12 to three miles for students in grades nine through 12 and two miles for eighth graders as a way to save the district money, approximately $190,000 for the year.
The district still must review the signatures on the petition and the board of education still must pass a resolution to accept the item, which would be on the agenda for the next board meeting April 24.
If the measure goes on the ballot and it passes, it would not be figured into the 2012-13 budget, so the district would either have to make cuts or dip into reserves to pay for more buses. The cost would then be figured into budgets going forward.
Monday was also the deadline for candidates for the Pearl River Board of Education. The seats currently held by Bruce Bond and Jackie Curtiss are up for election this year, but no new candidates turned in petitions Monday. Bond, Curtiss and Pearl River High School PTA Co-President Patrice Carrieri will be on the ballot for those two seats in May.