Many Alpine School District parents don't like the district's plan to switch to four school starting times. But they haven't convinced district officials that another plan could save the district the $200,000 in transportation costs the district is seeking.

At Tuesday's board meeting, district officials are expected to approve a new bus schedule that will move about 25 percent of the schools' starting times up 20 minutes or back 20 minutes, and another 25 percent of school starting times back 40 minutes.District administrators proposed the changes three weeks ago in an effort to make up an anticipated shortfall in the transportation fund of between $200,000 and $400,000. Kelvin Clayton, district transportation director, said the shortfall is the result of changes in the state's funding formula for transportation. By switching to four starting times the district will reduce the number of buses it uses by 20 percent.

Most parents learned about the proposed new starting times through letters sent home by principals.

Those whose children would start school 40 minutes later complained that the later starting times would cause child-care problems for many parents and would curtail participation in after-school programs. Some said the later starting times would decrease learning.

On June 2, district officials met with about 50 local Parent Teacher Association officials to discuss the parents' concerns. Michael Robinson, Alpine public information officer, said district transportation officials used the input from parents to revise the bus schedule and to move some starting times up.

However, district officials understand that even with the revisions, some parents will still be unhappy with the bus schedule. But district officials can find no other way to reduce transportation expenses by the amount needed.

"Transportation officials are just trying to balance the schedule the best they can for the concerns of everyone," Robinson said.

Allyson Riding, Orchard Elementary School PTA president, said most PTA officials left the meeting understanding the district's logic and reasoning for the changes, but many parents are still dissatisfied.

"I think (district officials) are trying to do what's best, and it's tough to please everyone, but it just changes so many people's lives, and that's what (the parents) hate," Riding said.

Many parents feel betrayed because they worked hard supporting the bond election and now they're being asked to make more sacrifices, Riding said. Orchard Elementary School switched to a year-round schedule several years ago.

"Everybody is wondering when all these financial problems are going to end," Riding said. "It just seems to be one thing after another."

Clayton said Jordan and Granite school districts switched to four starting times a couple of years ago and parents there have adapted well to the program. Other Utah County school districts may soon have to make similar changes to make up for transportation fund shortfalls, he said.