How riding the school bus could improve your child's performance

By Cyndy McGrath, Milvionne Chery, Roque Correa

ORLANDO, Fla. - Nothing signals school like the big yellow bus. Buses bring 25 million students to and from school every year. However, with educational budget cuts on the rise, many school districts are considering ways to cut back and one of those ways is restricting bus service for students. 

Every year, students miss at least 20 days of school. Education researcher Michael Gottfried of the University of California, Santa Barbara, looked at a national sample of over 14,000 kindergarten students. He found children who took the bus were 3 percent less likely to be chronically absent or miss 10 or more days of school than students who walked, biked or were driven.

While the study didn’t ask why children taking the bus had better attendance, it may be that using the bus helps families establish morning routines and ensures parent’s work schedules don’t interfere with getting to school, researchers said.

Taking the bus could potentially reduce the number of kindergartners who are chronically absent by almost 50,000 students, according to additional analysis by the researcher.

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