Meeting set to address concerns over new school transportation rules

(Plain Press, September 2004) A community meeting to discuss the new transportation policies of the Cleveland Municipal School District will be held on Monday September 20 from 6-8 PM at Zone Recreation Center . Zone Recreation Center is located at 6301 Lorain Avenue with entrance to parking off W. 65 th Street . May Dugan Center and Merrick House are jointly coordinating the meeting in order to help determine what parents and other do not understand about the changes in transportation procedures, what options may be available and where accountability lies.

The new transportation policies are a result of the budget passed by the Cleveland Municipal School Board in June of this year. A brief summary is as follows:

• Students in grades K-8 must live more than 2 miles from school to qualify for transportation.

• Students in grades K-8 who live within 2 miles of school will not be provided transportation.

• Students in grades 6-8 who live more than 2 miles from school will be provided RTA transportation.

• High School students who live within 3 miles of school will not be provided transportation.

• High School students who live more than 3 miles from school will be provided RTA transportation.

• All Students approved for special transfer will not be provided transportation.

• Transportation to and/or from childcare will no longer be provided.

The School District held one meeting on the west side and one meeting on the east side in August before the start of school to present these changes to the community. At both meetings, a number of parents expressed both confusion and concern. Many parents who had children in before and after school day care programs had no idea how they would cope with the changes. Other parents felt that they did not have the necessary community support to depend on others in their neighborhoods to watch their children.

Both the May Dugan Center and Merrick House have continued to hear from parents who are asking, “What should we do”? As a result, these two agencies and others in the community are coming together to plan and host the September 20 th community meeting. At this point, the agenda is still being formed, although it is expected that considerable time will be spent determining concerns, identifying possible options and establishing accountability.

Members of the community who are affected by these changes and have concerns they want addressed or who would like to be part of planning the community meeting, should call Tim Walters at May Dugan at 631-5800 or Nicole McGee at Merrick House at 771-5077.

 

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