NEW PARENT-FRIENDLY DATA ON SPECIAL ED BUSING ISSUES

Tuesday, October 18, 2011 7:53:00 PM
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The Public Advocate’s report came out on October 14, you can follow this link:

http://pubadvocate.nyc.gov/schooltransportation  

Please read it and use the feedback form.   

We are glad that the office of Bill de Blasio listened carefully, quoted PIST by name, and recognized some of the issues that we stressed, notably the unacceptable length of bus routes today, the Office of Pupil Transportation’s lack of information, communication, sensitivity, accountability, or adequate follow up to busing complaints; Aniya’s Law for Staten Island; etcetera. 

They stopped short of calling for a task force of parents to monitor the complaint resolution process, though people from CCSE brought it up, and it is in PIST’s School Bus Bill of Rights (we say panel of parents, drivers/escorts, and educators). 

The research turned up some interesting things about how contracts are assigned to companies and the increased spending on transportation without the same increase in quality.

The analysts were unable to locate budget lines for dollar amounts cut when routes are cut; in hindsight this could be because the DOE annually budgets low--based on knowing they will temporarily cut nearly 400 routes each September.  Thus the report did not emphasize the layoff problem as a root of the overcrowded routes.

The direct quotes from parents on the survey question of how busing affects the child’s school day are very telling; we are glad these voices are getting a hearing. 

Thanks to Ursulina and Edie for the hard work, which we think will help the cause.

(At least one PIST parent has spotted television coverage of the report’s release on NY1 and another has posted the report on Facebook.  Please send any media links to pistnyc@gmail.com so we can share them further.)

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