Preparing his youngest for kindergarten at Hiawatha Elementary School in Okemos, just got harder for Al Singletary.
"I think it's atrocious," Singletary said, "instead of helping the students, the school board instead decided to budget it elsewhere."
As part of budget cuts, the school board increased the 'non-transportation zone' around schools from 1.25 miles to 1.5. Therefore, Singletary's two boys will have to walk, or find other transportation.
"I'm incensed," he said, "to have him walk 1.3 miles to school through four neighborhoods..."
"A five year old little girl,,, walking 1.5 miles and making six or seven turns is unthinkable," Siddharth Chandra said.
Shandra's daughter also goes to Hiawatha. What makes it worse he said, is the short notice, even though a letter was supposedly sent out August 2nd to affected families.
"We did not get a letter," Chandra said, "and that's what most families are upset about it the lack of information."
School administrators were not available for interviews Monday, but we did receive an email from the school board president. Ronald Styka said he realizes this seems like short notice, but this information has been on the Website since the budget process began.
He adds there were open meetings throughout the process. The thought was to keep the cuts away from the classroom as much as possible.
The bussing change saves about $22,000.
Parents worry it's at the expense of safety.
"There is no school zone on Jolly Road," Singletary said. "Traffic patterns will atrocious with 30-40 more cars dropping off and picking up there."
Students go back to school in two weeks, but still several families don't know yet how to get them there.
The district also changed the start time for Hiawatha Elementary School to 9 a.m., which parents argue puts another burden on them to find day care for their kids because most have to work.