SAN DIEGO — Hundreds of students walked out of class Friday at San Ysidro High School, protesting the Sweetwater Union High School District’s elimination of 20 bus routes that take students to San Ysidro High School due to budget cuts.
Last week, parents and students walked about three miles to protest, which is about how far most students have to walk without a ride.
The district had to cut millions from its budget this school year to make ends meet and the cancellations save about $500,000, according to a district spokesperson.
The school district serves about 39,000 students, including 11 middle schools and 13 high schools. The students say the cut backs are an injustice to a predominately low-income, Latino community. They say many parents work jobs that make it impossible for them to drop their kids off at school.
Classes recently resumed and the students say the walk to school now takes about an hour and leaves them feeling dehydrated, tired, and that negatively impacts their education.
In addition to the cost savings, the district says the bus cuts fall in line with a policy approved in 2012 that requires the district to provide transportation within 3.5 miles of schools. The district adds that the sidewalk on Old Otay Mesa Road is complete and that serves as a safe walking path to San Ysidro High.