A plan to improve the success of Pinedale students was announced to cheers and and fist pumps Tuesday night at the Pinedale Community Center in Fresno.
Clovis Unified assistant superintendent Jeanne Hatfield told about 100 people that the district would fully fund the cost of busing Pinedale students to Kastner Intermediate School and Clovis West High School.
"I'm ecstatic," said Emilio Vargas, a Pinedale volunteer and project leader with Faith in Community, which has been pushing for the change. "It's been a sore point for over 10 years."
Vargas said many parents couldn't afford the district's annual $150 per child busing fee. As a result, middle and high school kids had to walk across Blackstone Avenue and other busy streets to get to school.
Hatfield said that walk discouraged students from attending classes, participating in after-school study sessions or extra curricular activities and was a factor in bad grades, discipline and attendance. She said a bus will be available for students who need to stay late at school.
"Tonight is an important step for the the district," Hatfield said. "We've been working on these issues for years with only intermittent success. This is a systemic change."
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