Madison Moms Upset about Busing Changes 

Many schools across the state are facing huge budget shortfalls, which means administrators are trying to find ways to fill in the gaps. For one Central Maine school district, changing bus routes could save more than one-hundred thousand dollars, but some parents say the savings are putting their children’s safety at risk. Christy Asselin’s six year old son and ten year old daughter used to be picked up by the bus at their front door, but now they walk three-tenths of a miles to the Junior high where the bus meets them. “Cars fly up and down through here and it’s a safety issue. I’ve never had to walk to school. The bus has always picked me up. They’re making budget cuts in places that they shouldn’t be making cuts in,” Asselin says. Jessica Libby, a mother of three has her own concerns. She says kids have to walk by homes where sex offenders live. “They are walking by predators houses,” Libby says. Lyford Beverage is the MSAD 59 superintendent he says he doesn’t feel that the kids are being put in harms way. “Safety is an issue, but I don’t believe we’ve put kids at risk. The district has had a policy for years that students would walk up to one mile with exception to Kindergartners,” Beverage says. Walking programs are being offered in all the MSAD 59 schools throughout the month of October according to Beverage. He says they are trying to teach students how to walk safely to and from school. Meanwhile, Asselin and Libby say they have started a petition for parents to sign if they want to get the door to door pick ups back. The women say they plan to bring the petition to the upcoming school board meeting that is set for Monday, October 18th.