Arlington reverses 1-mile rule for Campbell Elementary

Andrew Mollenbeck,

ARLINGTON, Va. – After petitions, pleas and claims that lost school bus service compromised learning and parents’ jobs, the Arlington School Board voted to waive a policy that stripped some bus service to Campbell Elementary School.

Over the summer the board decided to enforce the “1-mile rule” for elementary school kids and the 1 1/2-mile rule for middle and high schoolers. Students who live within those parameters had to walk to school.

But just two months into the school year, the board’s decision to waive the policy will allow some Campbell students to start riding buses again within two weeks.

The official reason for the change, as outlined in a release, was “to avoid significant increases in operational costs and to limit increased crowding at (nearby) Carlin Spring Elementary School.”

The Parent Teacher Association estimates about 10 students had already transferred to that school and other parents had considered doing the same in order have access to transportation.

The policy change only applies to the current school year.

Though the restored bus service, scheduled to start in early November, applies to Campbell students, it may have a ripple effect to other schools.

The board wants the superintendent to continue evaluating how buses are used elsewhere and to figure out whether more service can be restored on a temporary basis.

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