KAL to continue busing agreement

A transportation agreement between the Kingman Academy of Learning charter schools and Mohave Union High School District will continue for a third year in the fall, even though the MUHSD merged July 1 with the Kingman Elementary School District to form the Kingman Unified School District.

The KUSD will bus students to and from four KAL campuses Monday through Thursday.

The KAL is closed Fridays.

"It's a great arrangement and a win-win situation for both of us," said Susan Chan, district administrator for the KAL.

"We get the transportation we need and they get money from us for the service."

Cathy Davis, director of transportation for the KUSD, said the unified district will run six full routes, the same number as last year, for KAL students.

She estimated drivers cover 300 miles per day picking up academy students.

"We're extending some of the service area where we did not transport before," Davis said.

"For example, our buses now will go out to Cactus Wren Road and up to Pinion Pines.

"Their routes stay pretty standard from year to year and adding the new areas was not complicated.

We did a little juggling and put them into the routes."

While the KAL will have modular classrooms and offer instruction for ninth-grade students this fall, those high school students will ride on buses on already established routes so no additional busing for them will be necessary, Davis said.

Bus schedules for the KAL and KUSD will appear in a pullout section of the Daily Miner on Thursday Aug.

9.

KAL opens Aug.

20 for the 2001-2002 school year.

The four campuses of the KAL with locations, hours and numbers of students expected to be enrolled are:

• Primary school in First Southern Baptist Church at 3120 Hualapai Mountain Road will have classes 8 a.m.

to 2:30 p.m.

About 280 children from preschool through grade 2 will receive instruction.

• Intermediate school in Praise Chapel at 419 Harrison Street will operate 7:55 a.m.

to 3:45 p.m.

Roughly 300 children in grades 3-5 will attend.

• Middle school at 3269 Harrison Street will be open 7:45 a.m.

to 4 p.m.

About 320 children in grades 6-8 are expected.

• High school at 3419 Harrison Street will operate 7:45 a.m.

to 4 p.m.

Roughly 100 ninth-grade students will be accommodated.

Brownie Hamlyn, business manager of the KAL, said her district pays $1,442 per day to the high school district for busing of KAL students.

The financial arrangement is fair and KAL officials are grateful busing will continue through the KUSD, she said.

But there is a down side, too.

"We don't get funded by the route mile, so we're severely under-funded for transportation by the state," Hamlyn said.

"Our total bill for busing last year was $201,880 and we received just $137,000 from the state, so we had to pay the difference of about $64,000 out of our maintenance and operations money, which should be going to teach kids.

"We get $174 per child per year for transportation, but only half that amount for kindergarten.

We have 80 kids in kindergarten, but are only funded for 40 of them."

Hamlyn said officials from KAL and other charter schools are fighting to get the transportation funding formula changed to more closely conform to regular public schools.