Blount County Schools cut at least 4 days of bus transportation

BLOUNT COUNTY, Tenn (WVLT)-- Tony Israel has two kids who attend William Blount High School, he's one of many parents who got a text message from Blount County Schools.

"It advised me of 5 days, William Blount High School ... won't provide transportation," says Israel.

It was followed by another text telling parents, students would be counted absent if they don't make it to class. A statement from Blount Co. schools noted that the special education buses will still run as usual.

Israel says his kids will be on that list unless he takes a day off work.

"I don't want my kids to be penalized because my kids can't get to school that day because the school isn't providing them transportation. I don't want them to to be bogged down on a lot of make up work or penalized on tests," he says.

No one was available to speak to us at Blount County Schools but the text points to tax defeats as the reason.

But what are those defeats?

Israel thinks it's a retaliation on the Wheel Tax that was voted down last spring.

He says he understands the budget shortfalls and he wants to help, but doesn't want his children to suffer.

"The school system is underfunded and I agree with that whole heartily and I make donations and pay the classes and the fact that they won't provide transportation means my kids won't be at school that day."

In an email between Israel and the Director of Schools Rob Britt, Britt says the days without buses was one of many cuts in the budget and they're working on making sure this doesn't happen next year.

The email also said the schools will work with families who rely on the buses but didn't explain how.

But the school was clear in assuring Israel this is not a decision based on retaliation.

The first day of no transportation for the high school is on Friday, the other dates on the text were December 18th, March 14th, May 19th, May 20th.

According to the schools website, though, buses will run on May 19.

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