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Parents question IPS leaders about proposed transportation plans

A Zoom meeting let parents speak with IPS officials about proposals to change bus plans for hundreds of students.

INDIANAPOLIS — When finances get tight, tough decisions often follow. Indianapolis Public Schools is explaining transportation changes for students in the fall.

Several proposals would take students off school buses and have them walk or take an IndyGo bus instead.

"The reality is, for a number of our families, this is a change and a shift," said Superintendent Aleesia Johnson. "We have to make decisions sooner rather than later that will help us stabilize our long-term financial viability."

Starting next year, about 600 high school students would be moved off school buses and onto city buses, if they live a mile or less from an IndyGo stop. The same proposal calls for about 2,000 elementary and middle school students to walk if they live close enough to their school.

RELATED: IPS to hold virtual town halls to discuss potential transportation changes

"We've worked closely with IndyGo, we've worked closely with our data and analysis team to identify students that are best situated to make that transition next year based on their residence," said Zach Mulholland, IPS board administrator.

During a Zoom meeting where parents could question officials, the biggest concern centered around safety.

District leaders say options are few in order to protect actual classrooms.

"But it does mean we're going to prioritize teaching and learning in our classrooms and look for areas and places where we can make shifts and changes that won't negatively impact teaching and learning to the extent possible," said Johnson.