Why no school buses in El Cerrito?

Where I grew up all kids elementary to high school got bussed to school.  I know there’s public transportation but elementary school kids can’t ride alone. Seems like a big burden on parents and creates unnecessary traffic. Is this a budget issue? My kid will go to Madera and we live down the hill, there’s no way to walk Potrero every day with a 5 year old and a stroller. 

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Yes, it is a statewide budget issue. When Proposition 13 passed in 1978, it fundamentally changed California school funding, and school transportation was among the things that was cut. Today, most districts only provide busing if it is required by a student's IEP for Special Education or if students live in rural areas with no other way to get to school. A few districts--most notably Berkeley in the East Bay--opt to pay for busing themselves for other reasons. (In Berkeley, it allows the district to have more income-diverse schools by having broader school attendance zones.) But it's less feasible in larger districts like OUSD or WCCUSD that cover large expanses of land. AC Transit does run buses to middle and high school students and deeply discounts student fares, so once kids are old enough, there are at least some options, but it's one (of many) unfortunate losses in California's woefully underfunded public school system.