Boys & Girls Club, parents concerned about recommendation to cut busing to Charters, Privates and Urban Suburban
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Some parents in the City of Rochester are getting nervous over the prospect of losing busing to schools they chose for their children. The recommendation in front of the city school board and superintendent would impact more than 9,000 students.
The executive director and board of the Boys & Girls Club wrote a letter of concern sent to 40 powerful people in our community.
The letter raises concern about the recommendation that would stop busing children in the city to charter schools, private schools and urban-suburban schools.
"This was his report card and his GPA," said Cherie Wright-Banda, the proud mother to two boys.
Joshua Banda is a senior in Penfield. His brother Javan is in middle school in Pittsford.
They’re in the urban-suburban program and they rely on busing to get there.
"That’s like the key part, the most important of the whole urban-suburban program is the transportation," Wright-Banda said. "So removing that is removing the program essentially."
About 900 city students are in the urban-suburban program, 1,400 are in private schools and 6,867 students are in charter schools.
Dwayne Mahoney is the director of the Boys & Girls Club and he wrote this letter Monday saying the end of busing for urban suburban, charter and private schools for kids in the city means school choice would be "effectively eliminated."
"If they can’t go due to transportation, where are they going?" he asked. "Education especially for kids of color leads to better outcomes. So why would we do anything in this community to impact that?"
Here’s how we got here:
- At the start of the school year, the city didn’t have enough bus drivers to start school on time.
- A few weeks later, a task force issued a list of recommendations for the district and one was — cut busing to schools outside the district.
- Thursday, the RCSD superintendent cautioned that it’s only a recommendation.
Dr. Lesli Myers-Small, Superintendent RCSD: "No final determinations have been made at this point."
Friday morning, two children on Rosewood Terrace got on a bus to get to Hope Hall, a private school in Gates. The school’s website said it provides opportunities for "marginalized children," something their mother doesn’t think they can get at their city school.
Debra Pecorella, children go to private school: "I don’t think the district can fulfill all those needs that my child has. So my biggest concern is if transportation ends, how do I get these kids to and from school?"
The letter written by the Boys & Girls Club went to 40 people including RCSD Superintendent Myers-Small, Congressman Joe Morelle and the mayor’s office.
The final decision on the recommendations, including the one on busing, will be made after the city school board meetings in January and February and any change would not start until next school year.