Everyone Suffers if District Decides to Discontinue Busing

Shana Neto, Opinions Editor

   There has been talk for some time now that it seems like the San Diego Unified School District is moving towards discontinuing school bus transportation all together. It hasn’t been said out loud, but there seem to be fewer and fewer buses moving students around each year. And more restrictions are being put on students who ride the bus (for example, requiring a yearly fee).

   This choice to do away with busing would have a tremendous effect on UC High and its students. A good portion of students who attend UC High do not live in University City, which is why busing is a great necessity to those with no other means of transportation. UC High offers a variety of opportunities to adolescents from all around the county, and in turn these individuals give the school a unique environment that everyone benefits from; without the students that make UC High what it is, how will either flourish properly?

   Many of the UC High students who are not bused in come from the places nearby University City, like the La Jolla and Clairemont areas. According to the Niche website, which offers statistics and information about schools and communities, these communities are primarily White. In fact, La Jolla’s population is 82.5 percent composed of White people (niche.com). If busing was discontinued, UC High would look a lot less diverse than it does now. Without its diversity, UC’s open and accepting school environment would suffer.

   District-provided transportation is the only way that many of UC High’s diverse population of students can make it to school. According to Vice Principal Michael Paredes, nearly 20 percent of the school is made up of bused-in kids, and approximately half of the school consists of students who don’t live within the UC High boundaries. A large portion of the school is either bused in or “Choiced” in (some Choice students ride the bus this year but will not be allowed to next year). Busing helps a lot kids who can’t walk, drive, or be driven to school. Such is true in the case of Sophomore Victoria Aguilar. “My mom goes to work early, and my dad does as well. Their jobs are out a long way from UC. I wouldn’t have any way to get here,” stated Aguilar.

   Many students believe they wouldn’t be able to get the same experience at their neighborhood schools. Senior Yazmin Zarate, who has taken the bus all four years, said, “I probably wouldn’t have taken any AP classes [at her neighborhood school], and wouldn’t really care if I was graduating. I wouldn’t have even thought about applying to colleges, either.” UC High influences the motivation of students and their goals. This is true for Sophomore Litzy Palafox too: “I’m not saying my neighborhood school is a bad school, but it just doesn’t have the resources that UC has. If transportation was taken away, I wouldn’t be able to get driven at all. I’d have to go to San Diego High or Hoover, and, yes, they provide AP classes and such, but it’s not the quality of education I can get here.”

   Part of the reasoning for the downsizing of busing is that the district doesn’t want students to have to go out of their way for a good education. The School Board wants every school to be a quality school and provide well for pupils, and in turn those quality students will benefit the school. According to Paredes, this sentiment is understandable. After all, why shouldn’t all areas have a good neighborhood schools and all students have the same opportunities?

   However, this hope is not (as yet) a reality and could cripple flowering and driven minds who feel like they have no other choice but to be trapped within forced boundaries. It would limit the first guinea pig group to their neighborhood schools and education. The students should be allowed to pick their path on their way to an unknown future.

   The district should continue to provide busing for San Diego Unified School District  students. Students shouldn’t be held back because of budgets or politics. UC High is a great school, and kids should get to experience it, no matter where they come from.