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My school bus was a Schwinn

For the previous year, it worked out to $393 per pupil, enrollment 98.4K. Wyoming, the smallest state, spent $42.1 million, $450 per pupil, enrollment 84.7K.

Apologists for Vermont's bussing costs typically argue rural dispersion, even though they well know that its mere 9,614 square miles are approximately 10 percent of vast Wyoming's 97,814 square miles, across which it transports about 10 percent fewer young riders and covers ten times as much area at a per-capita cost only about 15 percent higher.

In my own pre-K experience, which started just about when the Thomas Company began building the school buses I never rode, no school district ever spent a nickel to get me there or back.

Before this newspaper is drowned in reader protest, let me explain that I don't propose here that all 21st-century Vermont school kids be "abused" as we 20th-century kids were-that is, forced to traipse through miles of knee-deep snow to and from school-but I propose only that the missing $23 million be taken from the $40.5 bussing budget; it's probably near $46million by now, so my cut would be into halves) by requiring the nearest-to-school 50 percent of enrollment to get there and back as we did: private enterprise. I didn't even always have a Schwinn bicycle.

My earliest recollection of the primary grades was riding to school in a Ford two-seater automobile with a rumble seat (forbidden to us kids) who both occupied the passenger seat while the designated mother drove.

By fifth grade, I had my first Schwinn. It was an unearned gift. My fellow passengers were similarly gifted, as were the several moms who thereby escaped the chauffeur roster. By ninth grade I had my second and larger one. It was earned with profit from preschool newspaper delivery. By our high school years, a few upperclassmen, 'way above us in socio-economic status, drove-wow!-their own cars.

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