schools.jpgThe San Francisco Unified School District board of education tonight will discuss a proposal to reduce yellow school bus service to nearly a dozen schools, a district spokeswoman said.

The district is considering cutting the number of school buses that serve the city’s schools from 44 to 25 over the next three years, spokeswoman Gentle Blythe said.

The service reduction is a response to recent budget cuts and also aims to align the bus routes with the new student placement policy approved by the district last year, Blythe said.

The schools that could lose bus service starting this fall are Cesar Chavez, Garfield, Grattan, Francis Scott Key, Marshall, Miraloma, Jean Parker, George Peabody, Sunset, Sutro, and Yick Wo elementary schools, she said.

“We’re looking at really trying to increase access to parts of the city that have the lowest average test scores,” Blythe said, adding that the initial cuts are to “buses with the lowest ridership.”

The district is also trying to work with the San Francisco Board of Supervisors and the city’s Municipal Transportation Agency to get free or reduced-price passes for low-income students that ride Muni to school, Blythe said.

Supervisor David Campos has expressed support for free or reduced-price passes for those students.

Monthly youth passes for Muni currently cost $20 after a $5 increase went into effect last May.

“This has been an ongoing topic of discussion,” she said. “We would love to be able to partner with them to make sure families have accessible ways to get to school.”

Parents or community members who want to give their input on the proposed school bus changes being discussed tonight are invited to come to the meeting, which is scheduled for 6 p.m. in the Irving G. Breyer Board Meeting Room at SFUSD headquarters on 555 Franklin St.

People are also encouraged to leave comments on the district’s website,, or by calling the office of a student’s school.

Dan McMenamin, Bay City News

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