6/9/14 PIST Update
What can we do to make next year better, not worse for busing? Please scan action points 6-10 even if you are not a school bus parent or grandparent.
For your own child and schoolmates:
1-You can call and find out whether whoever coordinates transportation at the school
is on top of verifying which children have summer school elsewhere or are transferring. They should have received OPT's "SVER" memo (it's posted in a photo album in the PIST NYC facebook page just in case). The forms need to be filled out before June 26!
2-Remember to make sure all your child's supporting documents for busing accommodations in September have been added to their records and acknowledged by OPT. Check with the school and directly with OPT at 718-392-8855 or on schools.nyc.gov.
3-Be aware that the new teachers' contract could have an effect on your child(ren)'s arrival and dismissal times. Extended day as we know it is going away, but teachers have such a long day on Mondays and Tuesdays that almost all schools must start by 8:20 even if they started later this year. Find out for yourself and urge school staff to inform OPT of all session time changes for September asap. Follow up!
4-Fill out a questionnaire about busing conditions for the whistleblowers law firm G&E, available in 3 languages on PIST NYC facebook or firstname.lastname@example.org.
5-Pass the word about the above. Also tell anyone whose child is new to busing that things like limited time, wheelchair lifts, climate control, mini-wagon are NOT AUTOMATIC but need medical documentation which they must organize! If they don't know where to get forms, put them in touch with us or with any well informed school assessment team or parent coordinator in their district.
6-If you know anyone who is going to the meeting between the Special Education Parent committee and Chancellor Carmen Farina on Wednesday the 11th, please encourage them to lobby for enforcement of school bus riders' rights. There are already some good ideas on the wish list, such as 'One school per bus'.
7-The Chancellor will also be speaking at the Citywide Council on Special Education Calendar Meeting on 6/12/14 at 5:45 at 52 Chambers St., Manhattan. You can sign up to comment. More info: email@example.com
8-Employee protection (EPP) for experienced, qualified school bus drivers and attendants is close to being made a NYS law, but it depends whether Governor Cuomo signs or vetoes.
32 New York City Council members recently sent a letter urging him to sign A 9499 / S 7233.
We agree that this is the least that Albany can do to show respect for our children (the part about extra training is not included this time, unfortunately).
Will you also send a letter or a comment?
Cuomo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you canselect topic “Education” at http://www.governor.ny.gov/contact/GovernorContactForm.php and fill out the form, or call 518-474-8390Help stop the mass layoffs and turnover in the busing workforce.
9-Also let Mayor DeBlasio know where you stand on the importance of safe, stable, shorter bus routes and EPP. Tweet @deBlasioNYC or call 311.
If possible, do this by Weds 6/11, when his staff are scheduled to meet again with the leadership of school bus union ATU L.1181.
10-Help us raise the busing issues everywhere parents or education, labor or disability rights activists are found. PIST will be tabling in neighborhoods over the summer, keep in touch.
Here are links to a few June events; you can also check your school, public library and parks:
For this event we couldn't get a working link:
Rally at Tweed:Clean Up for the summer! Tuesday, June 10, 2014 at 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm Tweed Courthouse - 52 Chambers Every high ranking attorney hired under Bloomberg is still in the Department of Education.
Have a safe week and Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and single mothers out there.