Update July 17, 2014

Saturday, April 04, 2015 1:45:00 PM

Puerto Rico school closings, hot buses media, EPP news and more

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Parents to Improve School Transportation Update July 17, 2014

Contents:  
1-Event Tomorrow-School closing crisis in PR; 
2-Media on hot school buses; 
3-EPP news (layoffs and status of Albany bill); 
4-Parent Events; 

5-our Boston allies

Attachment- Checklist of school bus regulations - Important!


1-Event Tomorrow-School closing crisis in PR

STEERING COMMITTEE OF FAMILY AND FRIENDS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES 

 

WHAT:       Press Conference to denounce education cuts in Puerto Rico

WHEN:            Friday July 18, 2014 at 11:00 a.m.

WHERE:             El Maestro, Inc. 1300 Southern Blvd, Bronx, 10459

Contact: Milagros Cancel (347)364-7506

 

Comité Timón’s New York chapter invites you to a press conference from the Puerto Rican diaspora to expose the violating of the rights of our children with disabilities and to say no to the closing of 80 schools in Puerto Rico. 

 

According to recent news, the Department of Education in Puerto Rico “ reduced by more than $53 million the agency’s budget which presumably will impact in a negative way the special education students, an action contrary to the stipulations in the class action suit” headed by our committee.

We believe that among the 144,000 students with IEPs there will be many who will immigrate, seeking their education in the New York schools this September.  Thus, this problematic situation could affect families and teachers on both sides.


2-Media on hot school buses (next week we'll have more):


NY 1 
http://www.ny1.com/content/212096/girl-with-autism-speaks-at-city-hall-after-she-says-she-was-caught-on-overheated-school-bus/
By the way, the Jewett family reports that the same HOT bus continued to show up until WEDS 7/16!  Shame on OPT.


News 12 
NOTE:  DOE says 'once the IEP is finalized showing A/C, the child has it within five days'.   But there is no proactive outreach to parents to let them know A/C and other accommodations must be spelled out on the IEP with a specific form signed by a doctor...this form is not available online (but PIST has it if you need it)...They don't tell you that finalizing an IEP depends on the SESIS fax machine, which in the end of June was overloaded, slow and often out of service...
http://brooklyn.news12.com/news/group-calls-on-department-of-education-for-air-conditioned-buses-that-carry-special-needs-students-1.8770538


El Diario 
http://www.eldiariony.com/padres-denuncian-falta-aire-acondicionado-autobuses-escolares-nyc


http://observer.com/2014/07/tish-james-sweating-un-air-conditioned-bus-rides-for-special-needs-kids/


http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/public-advocate-pushes-air-conditioning-special-student-buses-article-1.1863026


At this time, the public advocate and her staff want to see the hot buses for themselves by visiting summer school sites. 
If you can recommend one, these are the questions (thank you Pat): Please provide the Following information. 
1. What are the total number of buses that arrive at the Site? 
2a. About what time do they arrive in the morning? 2b. About what time do they arrive in the afternoon?
3. At that site what Buses / Bus Routes have the biggest problems and or HOT Buses?
Please let pistnyc@gmail.com know or call 347-504-3310.


3-EPP news (School bus job security)

According to the WARN letters (thank you Dunnys) All American laid off 260 + 103 in Queens + 401 in Bronx + 314 in Brooklyn = 1,077 drivers and matrons with experience including with wheelchair lift buses, as of 6/27/14. 

Now, Reliant has a hiring fair for 800 school bus employees, looks like they are assuming no EPP--rumors are the pay is about half what it was.   
Anyone want to call and see what they say the qualifications are??   
How about asking how many air-conditioned vehicles Reliant even owns?

However, negotiations continue between City Hall and the Amalgamated Transit Union which recommends members hold out until August rather than accept jobs that will shortchange them (thank you Maria).


Parents can encourage NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio to restore Employee Protection Provisions, by calling 311.  


Albany EPP bill:  The New York State Assembly passed A 9499, and the State Senate ended the term with plans to address S 7233 in a Fall session.  You can contact your state senator and NYS Governor Cuomo about approving this basic measure that impacts on the professionalism and safety of bus service.  


Meanwhile, the 2015-16 school bus route bids that were postponed to 8/1/14 are now postponed to Halloween & the two days after Election Day.  See http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/DCP/Vendor/RFB/Default.htm



4-Parent Events

(hopefully you are going to FUN family events but here is some serious stuff)

Free parent workshops end of July from Resources for Children with Special Needs - Manhattan/Bronx, English/Spanish - follow link for details - http://resourcesnyc.org/parents/calendar


7/26 training for parent leaders. Can anyone bring PIST flyers including the new lawyers' survey about bus conditions? 

http://www.eventbrite.com/e/cej-parent-power-school-advanced-training-for-parent-leaders-tickets-11324288251?aff=eac2

SAVE DATE--We are thinking of holding school bus rights training for parents and youth on Saturdays August 9 and 16--let us know your interest.



5-our Boston allies
Follow link for Boston Herald coverage of the phony court case on School Bus Union leader Stevan Kirschbaum. 
We agree with the interviewees, this is a caring person, who took time out to educate PIST by phone on everything from the 'bus route clinics' and flaws of the GPS software to the Boston Special Education Parents lawsuit and Labor law so we could better understand developments in NYC. Drop the charges! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FMzICHURW44

 

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