Polk scaling back courtesy busing for students

Hundreds of kids won’t be able to take the bus to school next fall. The Polk County School District is cutting back on so-called courtesy transportation, providing rides that are not required by the state.

That means the children may have to be driven or walk.

Bradley Kent, a dad, says letting a kid walk is too dangerous, in his mind.

“It’s a scary world out there,” Kent told FOX 13. “Anything could happen. They could walk in front of a car. You know kids. They get out there and start playing. They don’t watch for cars and stuff like that.”

Right now, Polk provides courtesy transportation to 3,500 students. Starting next fall, about one third, or 1,200 of them, will no longer get it.

“I know it’s difficult for some parents to provide that transportation, and we understand that,” said Vaughn Belcher, the director for transportation operations for the district. “We’ll take a look at that on a case by case basis, and decide what we can do if we can do anything.”

Polk County is also cutting its service for charter schools completely.