To the Editor:
I am writing to express my concern and to inform parents that their children may be walking to school come August.
In April the Board of Education (BOE) hired the consulting firm Transportation Advisory Services (TAS) to do an independent audit to find efficiencies and savings in transportation. One of the recommendations was to eliminate bus transportation to courtesy riders – students who live within the one or two mile distance from their school.
They also made this recommendation: “It is important to keep in mind that service level changes of this type should include proper notice to parents, which is typically considered to be approximately one year.”
In November, Mr. Richetteli presented the action plan to implement the TAS recommendations to the BOE. In that plan it was stated that they would mail out letters to parents whose students would not be receiving bus transportation on March 15, 2014.
Five months notice as noted above is seven months shy of the recommendation. At Monday night’s BOE meeting, it was announced that letters would be sent to parents sometime during the first two weeks of June. That gives parents just over two months notice….nowhere near the 12 months that the consultant recommended.
However many parents may not get any notice because the report that the traffic expert did (at a cost of $20,000) lists 180 students that are ineligible for bus service without any changes to walking routes, an additional 274 students may become ineligible if some crosswalks or crossing guards are added, does not include students who are starting kindergarten, or moving up to 6th grade or up to 9th grade.
Milford parents, just because you have seen the children in your neighborhood take the bus to middle and high school for the past 30 years, don’t count on it being there to take your child to school come August.