Was that an easy "NO!!" for you? I agree! Unfortunately that is precisely what is happening with the busing reimbursement formula NY State has. We can say we blundered into this situation, but once we realize what is happening, it is OUR responsibility to correct this injustice.
Here's a graphic and a short history of how we got here: Click.
We can look at School 17 for proof that providing short distance busing increases local student enrollment. In 2017 only 22% of students lived in the school's catchment area. To support this school and prove local busing can work, the RCSD provided busing within the catchment area. Local student enrollment is now up to 77%! And guess what! Parent involvement in the school is also way up. They have a large PTO and around 30-40 parents in the school each day helping make a difference. Don't get me wrong, Caterina Leone-Mannino is a great Principal at 17 and has channeled this parental involvement and energy very well to benefit the students.
The four receivership schools that the SWCC Education Committee and 19WCA Schools Committee are working with in the SW Quadrant also have great Principals! Seeing the devotion they have for their students gives me hope for the future. They also deserve the high local student enrollment and parent involvement that local busing brings. I'm sure they too will welcome the higher parental involvement and energy in their schools.
Please sign and promote our petition requesting NY State busing reimbursement also cover short distance busing to our schools. You can click on this link to find the petition:
Note that this short distance busing reimbursement request is in no way trying to limit the Managed School Choice program. We simply want to give parents the same busing option for safety and convenience to send their child to their neighborhood school if they want. The rationale for the petition is on the petition page if you click on the link and scroll down.
I hope you will support our effort by signing the petition and share this with your organizations and friends. You may also want to look at the following reports which come from past Albany lobbying efforts by the District in 2013 and 2015: School Bus Cost Impact Study FIN.pdf and the RCSD: Neighborhood Schools Implementation Plan - February 2015.