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Bus driver shortage affecting students who live within 2 miles of schools – Twin Cities

More than 1,500 students who attend Stillwater Area Public Schools will be impacted when a 2-mile no-busing zone is implemented next month, but school start times are not changing, district officials said Friday.

District officials are redrawing bus routes in response to the school-bus driver shortage. Priority is being given to students who live 2 miles or further from school and to students required by law to receive busing.

Families who live within 2 miles of school “will have to find alternative transportation,” Superintendent Malinda Lansfeldt wrote in a letter to families.

But a plan to change school start and end times to address the ongoing driver shortage — originally proposed last week — has been taken off the table, she said.

The change in school start and end times would have reduced the number of buses needed to transport students, but also “would have also caused significant disruptions to students, staff and families and unfairly impacted Oak-Land Middle School students,” Lansfeldt wrote in a statement posted on the district’s website.

In addition to establishing routes for students living 2 miles or further from school and others required by law to receive busing, district officials are working on creating neighborhood hubs and continuing to recruit new bus drivers, she said.

New bus route information will be sent to all families by Oct. 27, and all of the changes to bus routes will take effect on Nov. 3.

As more drivers are hired, the district will add back routes to families living within 2 miles of school, according to Lansfeldt.

In other school district news, a West Lakeland Township man was cited for fifth-degree assault on Sept. 23 after he allegedly pushed a Stillwater man at the school board meeting at the Oak Park Building. According to the police report, the man who was cited allegedly “did not agree with political signs being displayed” at the meeting.

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