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South Bend schools to take up time zones

– A northern Indiana school district is considering joining a coalition that is seeking to put Indiana in the Central time zone because of concerns about children waiting for buses in the dark.

The South Bend school board will consider a resolution April 8 on whether to join the Central Time Coalition, a statewide volunteer-run organization that wants to see all Indiana counties on Central time, the South Bend Tribune reports. Most of Indiana is now on Eastern time, but parts of the state in the Chicago and Evansville areas observe Central time.

“I get so many complaints during the winter about how dark it is when (school buses) are picking up the kids,” said Bill Sniadecki, the board member who authored the resolution.

At least one other person on the seven-member board supports the move. Roger Parent said he’s always been in favor of Central time.

Sue Dillon, president of the Carmel-based coalition, said more than 40 school boards in Indiana already have passed resolutions supporting the move. She started the coalition shortly after a Carmel student was struck and killed by a school bus in 2009.

“The recommendation would be for the governor and legislators to get behind this and then they would petition the U.S. Department of Transportation to move Indiana back to Central time,” she said.

In 2006, all of Indiana was put on daylight-saving time for the first time in more than 30 years. The state previously spent about half the year on Eastern time and the rest of the year on Central time.