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D145 Cuts Bus Service for St. Damian Students

Following nearly 30 years of free busing for St. Damian School students, and one year of paid service, District 145 axed the service this year. Superintendent Allen Jebens spoke with Patch about the decision.

students who live within boundaries are going to have to find their own ride to school this year, following the stoppage of bus service for those students by the District.

The cancellation comes after nearly 30 years of the District providing bus service for St. Damian students.

“We've been doing this for years at no cost, until last year was the first time,” said Allen Jebens, District 145 Superintendent. “We have to make sure we have enough funds to make sure we can take care of the children we're obligated to take care of.”

Need to find your kids a new way to and from school?

Last year, at a fee of $100 per student, 37 students from within the District rode the bus to St. Damian School, which is outside of the District's boundaries, Jebens said. 

“If you have a private school outside your district, you are not obligated to provide that transportation,” Jebens said. “We've still done that for all these years, just trying to be good citizens. … So for all these years, we've done it.”

Jebens said that the stoppage comes on the heels of the State of Illinois cutting the district's transportation funding by approximately 50 percent.

He added that although the State never reimbursed the District for busing the students out of district—something the State would have done if the school itself was within the district boundaries—the cuts left the district no choice but to stop the service.

“We want to try and be good citizens, good community members,” Jebens said. “That was always our goal. We realize these are our neighbors. … It was very difficult for the board, for the administration to come to this type of decision.”

While parents last year paid a $100 fee for kids to ride the bus, Jebens said that if the district continued to operate the service, the fee could have risen even higher.

Jebens added that of the parents that have contacted the District, most have been understanding of the move.

“I'm sure there's people who are disappointed, but the parents we've spoken to have been understanding,” he said. “They've been disappointed, but they've been understanding. It's just a sign of the times now.”

For St. Damian Principal Colleen Domke, and the rest of the St. Damian staff and families, the move came as a complete shock. 

"We found out at the same time as the parents," Domke said. "We got the letter right around the same time as the parents [in late June]"

Domke added that the move could cost the school a few students, that there is a potential alternative to the bus program. Domke said that the school offers a before and after school program for students whose parents are unable to drop off or pick up students at bell times.

Domkea said that the program costs $5 per hour and begins at 6:45 a.m. until the first bell and runs until 6 p.m. after school. 

She added that while this isn't the perfect alternative, it is an option for families.

Patch wants to know, what do you think about this topic? Is it fair that after nearly 30 years of free service, and one year of paid service, that District 145 is cutting bus service for St. Damian kids? How much would you be willing to pay for bus service to St. Damian for your child? Is there anything that can be done? Tell us in the comments below.

lvent August 17, 2012 at 11:39 PM
J.F.K. said........the word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society....listen here... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnkdfFAqsHA
lvent August 17, 2012 at 11:59 PM
No thanks NANCY GRACE....I have watched your stupid people videos before.
lvent August 18, 2012 at 12:48 AM
I would tell St. Damian to provide the transportation.The Catholic Church is the wealthiest organization on the planet. They collect all of their usury through many proxies...like Goldman Sachs.
lvent August 18, 2012 at 01:06 AM
They have soooooo much wealth....it can't be counted. I think they call it immeasurable wealth.
phxdr August 18, 2012 at 01:35 AM
IDK Hamish- These kids should just "pray" for a ride to school...I am sure it will be answered.
lvent August 18, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Aren't the parents paying for bus service in their taxes...? What about all of the tax paying citizens who don't have kids enrolled in any school in this district...? The extraction continues. FOLLOW THE $$$$$.
lvent August 18, 2012 at 02:36 AM
And it's gone.....! Is that a sentinel or a siren? http://4closurefraud.org/2012/08/16/and-its-gone-is-that-a-sentinel-or-a-siren/
Evelyn August 18, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Along with the right of free speech comes the RESPONSIBILITY of free speech. You do not use your right in any way that could be considered responsible. Your behavior would make our founding fathers sick. I will not consider one word of what you say valid until you learn how to speak to others. You just want to hear your own voice. You are no more valid than a broken record. Get this person blocked.
Evelyn August 18, 2012 at 02:48 PM
I have never felt the need to quote the bible before, but then again I have seldom seen a more needy person that this lesson would apply to ..."I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have the faith needed to move mountains-but if I have no love, I am nothing. I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned-but if I have no love, this does me no good." 1 Corinthians, 13:1-13 CLANGING BELL.
lvent August 18, 2012 at 10:36 PM
The Military Channel is airing Spetsnaz....all about the Russian elite forces. Some Americans believe they are on our shores.
lvent August 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM
You know what Evelyn....I pray for people like you. The truth is OUT whether you like it or not. Don't quote scripture while you lie and deceive. That is BLASPHEMY.
Evelyn August 19, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Clang...Clang...clang... it's all noise.
Stones August 19, 2012 at 04:05 AM
A clanging bell.....like Pavlov's dog, Ivent will start salivating all over her keyboard and come back with a load of crap like usual. I'll even bet she'll reply to herself.
Evelyn August 19, 2012 at 05:14 AM
I realize you've all been dealing with him/her for a while. But how do you know it's a she?
Stones August 19, 2012 at 05:26 AM
She has referred to herself as Mrs. Ivent.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 07:15 AM
Not one of you have come up with a reputable argument. You behave like schoolyard bullies. Get used to dealing with me because my agenda is to raise awareness. Something this country is sadly lacking. If you have a valid argument bring it. However, I know you won't, because you can't, because you don't have one. No one in their right mind would defend any of these crooks.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 07:19 AM
That's right Stones, I will be back with a lot of easily verifiable information. Something other than your crapload of deception.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 07:25 AM
That's right Evelyn. It is the responsibility of every American to go ahead and VERIFY any and all information. So why don't you do that, and then PLEASE... come back with a reputable argument other than your crazy crap argument. It proves nothing....it doesn't hold water.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 07:30 AM
The plans of these people flies in the face of anything holy so don't quote scripture to me. Quote it to them. They will laugh in your face.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 08:32 AM
Did you read what that person said....? These people pay for bus service in their taxes. How hard is that to understand? There are 2 entities here that the people fully fund and they both want the people to pay more. IMHO that is criminal along with everything else, it is just more fraud.
NANCY GRACE August 19, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Ivent you need help-please talk to someone.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 04:23 PM
Nancy Grace....state your case. I stand by ALL of my statements.
Baba Wawa August 19, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Nancy, LMAO! I soil myself watching his videos, especially this clip when he's "look at this" with the car. Love the white pants.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
Her video actually proves one thing, while Americans are distracted, the crooks are stealing their wealth, their property, their freedom and their country. So as long as the people keep doing what they are doing about it, which is nothing, the crooks will succed and rob US out of existence.
lvent August 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM
Well.....where is your proof NANCY GRACE...? You have none. That is a DIS-GRACE. You are of course, an imposter, hiding behind someone else's name.
Baba Wawa August 19, 2012 at 10:13 PM
If you want PROOF then look at THIS! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KUu7nBKfw30&feature=relmfu
lvent August 19, 2012 at 10:24 PM
WOW....!!!!! BRILLIANT.......! We never knew movie stars were full of gas.....! Goes to show, worshipping false idols will dissapoint you every time.
NANCY GRACE August 20, 2012 at 12:09 AM
Ivent TAKE A LOOK @ THAT! ABOVE.
lvent August 20, 2012 at 12:42 AM
As I have stated time and time again, you and others have given no valid arguments to any of your claims. Therefore, I rest my case.
Susan August 22, 2012 at 06:36 PM
I agree! These parents pay taxes to school district 145 but choose to send their children to a private school for whatever reason. They should still be entitled to the use of bus service. What the district receives in tax money from these families probably far outweighs the costs to provide bus service. This has nothing to do with religion at all! Also, $100 is dirt cheap now. What would the increase be next year and the year after that?

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