Mid-October 2014 Update from Parents to Improve School Transportation
Contents: BUSING NEWS; OTHER DISABILITY RIGHTS & EDUCATION ACTIVISM; MEDIA COVERAGE; OTHER CHILD-FRIENDLY ACTIVISM; No attachments
BUSING NEWS (5 items)
1—The District 75 CEC is hosting the director of the Office of Pupil Transportation and aides this Wednesday for Questions & Answers about resolving bus problems.
Weds 10/15 from 6:30 – 9:00 pm at P373@P40, 91 Henderson, Staten Island
Write to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com if you have outstanding complaints but cannot attend the meeting.
If you CAN attend, please write to PIST for handouts we need your help to distribute there. And let them know it is not okay to act like business as usual while 3000 skilled service providers are on indefinite layoff!
2--See page 30-31 of this new parent guide for the DOE’s own definition of special transportation (also available in many languages on the schools.nyc.govwebsite):
3--Cartoonist and PIST supporter T. Murphy recently won a prize for this cartoon about former DOE head Walcott's lies to the public about the school bus workers' Employment Protection Provision.
4--As we get ready for colder weather, thanks to Belinda for getting this legal info from someone at OPT:
State Education Law 3637 http://www.p12.nysed.gov/schoolbus/anti-idling/htm/Ed_Law_3637_Anti_Idling.html which outlines rules regarding idling school buses on school grounds . More detailed information can be found under NYS Vehicle Traffic Law section 142 and Regulations of the Commissioner of Education 156.3 (h)
5--Sharing petition from out of work matrons and drivers who would prefer to be delivering quality bus service to our children. Currently, the DOE leaves hiring up to the companies instead of mandating them to begin from the list of senior people. We learned during the 2013 strike that the workers have 2 primary employers, the city AND the company. http://www.petitions24.com/appropriate_school_bus_driver_and_matron_senority_list
OTHER DISABILITY RIGHTS & EDUCATION ACTIVISM (6 items)
1—Received from Save Our Schools and NY State Allies for Public Education:
Please TAKE ACTION and CONTACT your state and federal representatives demanding a substantial reduction in high-stakes standardized testing and eliminating the flawed linkage of teacher evaluations to student test scores.
Please click on this link to take ACTION: https://www.votervoice.net/NYSAPE/campaigns/37306/respond & share with your email and social media contacts.
2—Saturday Oct. 18 all-day Parent Conference sponsored by the United Federation of Teachers seems to be filled up but you can firstname.lastname@example.org if interested. Again if you are going, let PIST know if you can bring some flyers about bus rights.
3— Fathers Forum New York
Quarterly gathering for male caregivers of individuals with special needs
Weds. 10/22 5:45 P.M. Fordham Univ. Lincoln Center Campus
Register at email@example.com
4—Blog with insight about training for law enforcement so they don't misjudge people with disabilities WRITTEN BY A SCHOOL BUS MOM
5—Save date 11/20 for United Cerebral Palsy Family Connect conference -Free registration - info Español & English: www.ucpnyc.org
6—Free RCSN Workshops in 4 boroughs on your child’s rights and development: http://resourcesnyc.org/parents/calendar
MEDIA COVERAGE (4 items)
1--Thanks to all families and reporters who participated in this report, which was broadcast at the end of September. Notice the Reliant buses. By pinching pennies, they end up pinching our children: http://www.nbcnewyork.com/video/#!/investigations/I-Team--NYC-Special-Needs-Students-Suffer-During-Long-Bus-Rides/276860651
2--Thanks to Belinda for coverage of a shocking incident out of town that shows the need for attendants on ALL buses, not just on special education routes. Again a super-cheap company is named here, First Student (based in England but trying to take over in several US cities):http://globalnews.ca/news/1601443/he-got-off-the-bus-covered-in-blood-edmonton-mom-speaks-out-about-attack-on-6-year-old/
3--And the winner for most stingy school bus company on the planet goes to Veolia/Transdev, based in France, which is actually trying to put a pro-child leader of the Boston drivers and matrons’ union in jail (!) The October 6 court date ended in 2 out of 4 charges being dismissed. Stevan Kirschbaum goes back to court on November 24. For more info, read http://www.workers.org/articles/2014/10/07/solidarity-6-boston-hundreds-demand-drop-charges-anti-union-frame/
4—Buses did not show up for many students in the capital city of Puerto Rico, another place where busing subcontracted by the Dept of Education is not done uniformly:
OTHER CHILD-FRIENDLY ACTIVISM
PIST NYC is an endorser of the Solidarity Caravan that is now on its way to the Texas-Mexico border to raise awareness and funds around the survival of young people who have been displaced from their home countries by economic and physical violence. Coincidentally, they are riding in a decorated school bus and have an Ohio ATU retiree as alternate driver. For information check outwww.may1.info
Next time we promise to bring you some info on the local fight against Ebola