The Castaic Union School District approved Tuesday evening an agreement with Student Transportation of America to provide transportation services for its general education students for the remainder of the year.
In a special meeting Tuesday evening, Castaic district’s governing board approved a contract for approximately $243,600 to Student Transporation of America. The contract will begin on Monday and general education students will receive transportation services.
“Thank you for your patience as we worked through our transportation department staffing and bus schedule shortages,” reads a district statement, which was delivered to families and staff. “We have been working diligently to find a solution that allowed us to continue the optional service of general education transportation to our families.”
By law, any local education agency such as the Castaic district is required to provide transportation to special education students, who have that need written in their individualized education program.
Amid a nationwide staffing shortage, the district was unable to continue providing optional transportation to its general education students in Val Verde, as their available resources were allocated to provide transportation to its special education students.
Parents and community members were frustrated by the announcement as many of may not be able to drop off their children early in the morning due to various reasons — a large one being work.
District staff had come up with various solutions to the issue, but they concluded best course of action was to contract with an outside agency.
“We have secured and brought to our governing board for approval, a contract with an outside school busing agency that will transport the general education students for both routes, Val Verde and Templin Highway,” the district’s statement reads.
“This will secure the transportation of students moving forward. Our own transportation department will continue to facilitate the needs of our special education students.”