Overcrowded Schools, Students Bused to Schools in Other Neighborhoods

Some families were told the day before school began that there was not enough space for their child in the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

Due to an increase in the construction of homes in Chula Vista, there are more families with children who are of school age. 

Now, there is an overflow situation, meaning some students have to be bused to schools outside their neighborhoods.

Overflow is not that unusual, according to Anthony Millican a spokesperson for the Chula Vista Elementary School District.

Parents say they understand overflow happens but the problem this school year was a lack of communication about the issue.

Six-year old Stella Lien was put on the waiting list to go to Veterans Elementary School, which is just across from her home. Her mother, Mandy Lien told NBC 7 that she didn’t learn about it until the day before school started.

It was only when she went to pick up a packet for her daughter, she was told Stella would be bussed to a school ten minutes away.

“I told them ‘I'm not busing her to another school. You didn't prepare us so we could prepare them and I'm not doing it,'" Lien said.

Stella is one of 27 students at Veterans Elementary School who was put on waiting list as of the first day of school on Wednesday. She was one of those 27 students taken off the waiting list and were able to attend school on Thursday.

“I do feel lucky but I feel badly for the other parents because their children are still being bused over," Lien said.

Millican said there was a “communication breakdown” and he apologized for the late notice to families.

Lien said an apology was fantastic and that acknowledgement of the problem was a good first step.

“But I do plan to make sure this is addressed at a board hearing because it's not going to get better. It's going to get worse, especially if the city keeps handing out permits when there's not enough schools to accomodate students."

A new elementary school will be opening next year and should help alleviate overcrowding. More schools are slated to be built.

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