system a boon
Busing offered by Loudon
brings 'peace of mind,' parent says
By Lola Alapo Knoxville News Sentinel
When Audrey Howard learned her daughters' school,
Fort Loudoun Middle, consistently missed certain academic
benchmarks, she was concerned the girls would not get the quality of
education they deserved.
In stepped the
Loudon County school system with an offer to transport the girls to
a middle school in good standing this year.
"What started as a stressful 'Oh my gosh, what are
we going to do?' has turned into a great blessing," Howard said.
The girls, Abigail, 11, a sixth-grader, and
Lauren, 13, an eighth-grader, are two of three passengers each
morning on a small yellow bus that travels to North Middle School.
"It's total peace of mind," Howard said, noting
that the school system transportation is saving her time and money.
The girls' new school is eight miles from home compared with the two
miles to Fort Loudoun Middle.
"All the kids think it's cool that they have their
own bus and they're celebrities," Howard said.
Loudon County, like other school systems in the
region and state, is required to provide transportation at public
expense to students who opt to leave their zoned school once it's
designated a school of choice, under the federal No Child Left
The costs associated with it are as unique as the
transportation arrangements for students.
Sometimes, students ride together on a big bus.
Other times, they have a bus to themselves like Howard's children.
Or, in some cases, the school system enters into a
contract with parents and pays them per mile to transport their own
Loudon County currently pays 46 cents per mile for
two parent contracts, said Kim McGimsey, the district's federal
In September, the district reimbursed $815 for
both contracts, she said.