This school year, more elementary and middle school students will be walking to school, due to a change in Washoe County School District transportation policy.

The change expanded the "walk zones," the areas around schools deemed close enough to walk. Now, fewer families are eligible to take the bus, and many parents are upset about the changes.

"Our trustees had some very difficult decisions to make for our budget reductions," WCSD Deputy Superintendent Kristen McNeill said, "and walk zones was one of their decisions."

McNeill said the other option considered to close the budget gap was increasing class sizes.

The walk zones for elementary and middle schools are now one quarter of a mile bigger, which reduces the number of buses the district has to run. Starting in fall of 2018, elementary schools have a walk zone of 1.25 miles, and middle schools have a walk zone of 2.25 miles. High schools didn't see a change; their walk zones are still at three miles.

The change could affect nearly 3,800 kids, and saves the school district about $460,000 a year. But district officials know that parents aren't happy about the changes, especially those with children as young as Kindergarten age, who no longer qualify for the bus.

"We would ask that they call their school, speak with their principal," McNeill said, "see if there's a route maybe that they don't know of."

The district is holding an informational expo where parents can learn more about the situation. That's happening on Saturday, August 4 at the Center Court at Meadowood Mall, from noon to 4 p.m.

To check if your address is affected by the walk zone change, click here.