The state of Colorado reimbursed $62 million to K–12 school districts for transportation costs last school year. This was just 21% of the $290 million it cost districts to get students to and from school. Some districts are working hard to modernize and streamline their services, but school transportation today does not look significantly different than it did 50 years ago. It’s hard to innovate when funding is so severely limited, and because the state plays no role in equalizing transportation funding based on need.
Our recent report Roadblocks in Getting Kids to School: Trends, Insights, and Recommendations for Improving Colorado’s School Transportation System foregrounds this episode of Common Sense Digest. Chairman and Host Earl Wright welcomes one of the report’s authors, Jason Gaulden, and Executive Director of CSI Colorado, Kelly Caufield, to discuss this interesting dilemma. Listen in to hear more about the past, present and future of how we transport our students to school.
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Kelly Caufield is the Executive Director of the Common Sense Institute. In this role, Kelly is the key management leader of CSI and oversees the administration, strategic plan, and programming for the organization. Kelly brings nearly 20 years of policy, research, and advocacy experience to CSI.
Jason Gaulden is the 2022 CSI Education Fellow and has spent his professional career working at the intersection of the business and nonprofit sectors. He is a partner at Oak Rose Group, a strategy consulting firm specializing in education, workforce development, and economic mobility. He draws upon 25 years of professional experience in varying roles: executive leadership, philanthropy, communications, grassroots advocacy, research and writing, fund development, and nonprofit board development.