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ELC Board hears transport request

May 21, 2013
By Michael Tidemann - Staff Writer , Estherville Daily News

The Estherville Lincoln Central Board of Education Monday heard a request from a parent to transport five children from a mile north of the Minnesota border.

Melinda Beckman told the board she lived eight miles from Estherville and 24 from Jackson, Minn. She said her children would not be able to attend ELC unless they were bussed.

Superintendent Tara Paul said Beckman's residence was 5.23 miles from the last stop in the district which would make a 10-mile round trip.

And Rick Gebel, transportation director, said the district boundaries end at the Iowa/Minnesota border. He said the district used to have a pickup in the area but no longer had one. He said Beckman's children could be picked up if there were a regular stop but there wasn't. He said he had offered to pick up Beckman's children at her friend's home in Superior.

Beckman had concerns though about her children when school wasn't in session.

"The best thing for the kids is to go to the school that's closest to them," she said. "The teachers here at the middle school have been wonderful. We have family and friends here."

As for picking her children up at a friend's in Superior, Beckman said she couldn't get back on time.

That left receiving bus service as her only alternative.

"Otherwise, they're just going to have to go to Jackson and they've never been there," Beckman said.

Board president Jodie Greig said elementary students are limited to 60 minutes they can be aboard a bus and 75 minutes for high-school students.

Paul said after registration Gebel will be able to work out bus routes.

"It just bothers me some. We're one mile (from the border) and we have five kids," Beckman said. "If anything could be worked out that they could come and get us, I'd just be ecstatic."

Greig said Monday night's discussion was for information only and the board would look at the issue later.

Paul said registration was Aug. 2-5 and the board could take the matter up again at its August meeting.



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