Hesperia's student-athletes will have school-funded transportation, at least for some autumn sports events.

The Hesperia Unified School District school board voted 4-1 Monday night to approve a proposal from district staff to restore some of the transportation funding cut earlier this year in response to state budget cuts. (California is facing an estimated $26 billion deficit; Average Daily Attendance payments from the state make up 73 percent of the HUSD's general operating fund.)

Assistant Superintendent of Business Services David McLaughlin had brought forward a proposal that the district pay $143,000 in transportation funds, to be split between the HUSD's three comprehensive high schools, including the new Oak Hills High School, which will have a reduced athletic schedule its first year out.

The funds come from the $500,000 saved by last year's implementation of bus passes, which cut the number of buses paid for by the district by reducing the number of students from outside the busing coverage area riding HUSD buses.

The $143,000 wouldn't pay for all of the high schools' athletic competition transportation needs, but the board was still uncomfortable shelling out the funds with the state's funding to public school districts still in flux, as California's deficit continues to grow.

"I'm concerned, as [board member Anthony Riley] said, that this is three teachers' [salary]," said board member Robert Kirk. "I'm not sure this is the correct time for this until we know for sure what the state's going to do to us."

But cutting all transportation funds means parents -- most of whom work -- would be responsible for transporting their students, and the probability that teenaged drivers would be driving their fellow students to events.

"The nightmare scenario is some kid rolls their car as they're going down the Cajon Pass," said board member Chris Bentley. "We should have a system in place to cover the gaps that we now have."

In the end, the board voted to restore some transportation funds through November, when the district would reevaluate its financial picture. Riley voted against the measure, saying he would rather see the monies applied toward bringing back some of the HUSD's 156 teachers who received pink slips earlier this year and were not later given their jobs back.

The next meeting of the HUSD school board will be held on August 3 at 6 p.m. in the HUSD Educational Support Center Annex, 15576 Main Street.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.