part 2 Issues of reopening during Covid

Sunday, July 12, 2020 12:26:00 PM

PIST talking points, ATU contract proposals, Post article, Daily News article

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1. We highlighted 5-6 points in speaking with the media after the City announced its vague plans for September with barely a peep about busing. Here they are in case it got lost in the editing:

A- NYCDOE's Return To School survey only asked what method your child used for getting to school this year and what method you want them to use next year.  For those who selected busing, it asks how strongly you support

-reducing the number of children per bus by half, and
-having driver and attendant wear masks on the bus
That's it.
District 75 parents did their own survey and we encourage people to consider those results. 
B- STUDENTS WHO NEEDED BUSING BEFORE MARCH 16 STILL NEED IT. Whether due to disabilities, or to being displaced from their school's neighborhood by high rent. School bus riders tend to have complex situations that make remote learning really rough. Closing the schools did set children back, but it also saved lives!  As for general education students, not every school has what every child needs and the DOE promises school choice. 
C- Our feeling now is what it was in early March: Keep the schools closed until they can be opened safely FOR ALL. That way, the setback for school bus riders won't be more extreme than for every other student. 
D- For safety ideas, involve the people who live and breathe school busing: Families of students; the school bus workers' unions; the disability community. Decisions should not be made without consultation and approval by those who have to implement them firsthand. {see item 2 below}
E- The busing contracts were dropped in April, so there are no drivers, attendants or mechanics on payroll to do any preparation, recertification, training or maintenance. NYCDOE does not take full responsibility for the fleets or for this essential workforce the way many other districts do. 
F- The hybrid schedules open us up to more confusion, late buses, and kids getting left behind. If anything we will need more drivers to handle double routes / split sessions, and more bus attendants to take temperatures and monitor mask wearing on the general ed routes
2. We are impressed with the thoughtfulness and experience that the Amalgamated Transit Union has put into contract proposals which emphasize the safety of school bus riders along with those who transport them.
3. Resulting Daily News article July 12 is here with long quotes from PIST NYC and others
4. Resulting NY Post article is here which quotes leaders from PIST NYC, D75 Council, Advocates for Children, and ATU 1181-1061

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