When they met this week, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education were presented with a proposal for increasing busing next year.

When they met this week, members of the Leavenworth Board of Education were presented with a proposal for increasing busing next year.

The proposal comes as school district officials plan to close Lawson Elementary School at the end of the current school year.

Students from the Lawson attendance area will go to other schools next year, primarily David Brewer and Anthony elementary schools.

The district also will start to send all fifth-grade students to a new intermediate building located on the grounds of Warren Middle School.

Superintendent Mike Roth presented the proposal for increased busing for the 2020-2021 school year as board members met Wednesday.

Roth said the proposal would provide busing opportunities for an estimated 913 students, which would be an increase of 55% compared to the current school year.

The school district is paying Easton Bus Service $533,801 for busing services for the current school year.

Under the proposal, the district would pay the company $634,433 for busing for 2020-2021 school year.

Roth said the state provides transportation funding to the district for students who live 2.5 miles or farther from their schools.

It is estimated state transportation funding for the district for 2020-2021 will total $411,821. This means the district would have to spend $222,612 from its general fund to pay the remaining cost of busing services as proposed for the next school year.

For the current school year, the district is paying $166,705 from its general fund to supplement state funding for transportation.

“We’re really trying to look at a sustainable cost going forward,” Roth said.

He suggested the proposal could increase opportunities for parents of children who do not qualify for busing to pay the busing company to have the children transported.

Board members took no action on the proposal Wednesday.

“I’ll bring this back to you as a board in December,” Roth said.

The Lawson building will be converted into an early childhood center. Once this center opens for the 2021-2022 school year, it will serve the district’s prekindergarten and kindergarten students.

Roth said the busing proposal that was presented Wednesday does not reflect changes that may result in 2021-2022 school year.

“This does not include our early childhood education center,” he said.

He said the proposal only looks at the 2020-2021 school year.

Twitter: @LVTNewsJohnR