Pinellas County Schools to reinstate busing for Dunedin students
The Pinellas County School District has for now backed off a mapping change that could have forced dozens of San Jose Elementary students to cross a busy five-lane Dunedin road as they walked to and from school.
Dunedin city leaders raised a ruckus after district officials determined last winter that decades-old computer software had used the wrong entrance to calculate students’ distances from school. Correcting the error placed about 50 San Jose pupils within the two-mile walk zone, making them ineligible for busing, district officials said.
The school district said it couldn’t afford to bus the students because the change meant the Florida Department of Education would no longer reimburse the district. Dunedin city commissioners said they shouldn’t have to bear the cost.
Citing safety concerns, the city and school district joined forces to urge the DOE to deem the intersection of State Road 580 and Main Street/Skinner Boulevard/Bass Boulevard hazardous.
School resumes Monday. District spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra said the district has decided to return to its original map calculation — again making the students eligible for busing and the district eligible for state reimbursement — while officials continue to pursue a hazard designation.