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Old 12-11-2012, 04:11 PM   #1
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Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

Background info- We live in one of the wealthiest counties in the US (a bedroom community for DC), within the top 10 counties in the entire country according to the latest list. We have a good public school system, but not as great as it should be considering the population and resources. My DD1 attends kindergarten at our neighborhood school and I work as an educational diagnostician at two other schools in the county. The school staff is grossly underpaid, across the board. If I worked one county away (in a county with LESS per capita income than ours), I would make $12,000/year more than I do here. There have been recent newspaper articles addressing the poor teacher pay as well as the poor bus driver pay that had lead to a bus driver shortage in the county. This area has an extremely high cost of living and no one can afford to work for low wages here. Considering the amount of wealth in the county, there's just no excuse for this. IMO, it boils down to selfish taxpayers who want to use the public education system, but not pay for it (and yes, most of the taxpayers here are using the public schools. This is a family-friendly bedroom community with very few, small private schools.)

This morning, (while I was at work) our nanny had my DD1 at the bus stop as usual. Over 20 K-5 students get on the bus at our stop every morning. The bus pulled up today with kids already sitting 3 in each seat, hanging out of the windows, and screaming. It has never looked like that before. The older kids at our bus stop (whose parents weren't there) got on the bus and had to sit on the floor in the aisle. The bus driver explained that, because of the driver shortage, she had to pick up 3 extra bus stops on her run today.

Our nanny does not have car seats for our kids because she's never been expected to drive them anywhere. A friend/neighbor who also has a kindergartener decided that the bus wasn't safe, so she would drive her DD to school. She offered to take our DD1 in her car and our nanny agreed that would be safer than the bus, even without a booster or car seat. This is a neighbor who I trust with my DD1 and our nanny already knew that. My DD1 had never been in a car without a booster or car seat before this morning, but in that situation, I have to agree it was the safer of the options. We live 2 blocks from the school and the speed limit is 25 mph the whole way there. Regardless, I'm upset that this happened.

I don't blame the nanny or our neighbor, or even the bus driver... I blame the school system and the tax payers for creating an unsafe situation for no reason other than pure greed. The transportation office will be getting a phone call from me tomorrow, but, honestly, I think this problem runs even deeper than that. How do you change a culture that disregards the value of investing in our children???

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Old 12-11-2012, 05:31 PM   #2
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

oof. That's a bad situation. Not an uncommon one either, I should think.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:44 PM   #3
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

If it was just two blocks why didn't the nanny just walk her to school?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:50 PM   #4
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I would start carpooling the kids between your neighbor and nanny. Provide them with a high back booster for DD. have them alternate days.
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:57 PM   #5
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

That does stink but where I live you don't get free bus service unless you live 5 miles away or are disabled. Maybe if more people took their kids to school there wouldn't be a shortage.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:04 PM   #6
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

That does sound like a bad situation, but if you're two blocks away, why on earth do you drive or use the bus?

We live in an urban area and our school does not have busing. The commute each day includes about half a mile of walking--each way, so a mile total--that my daughter manages without a problem. She's 6 now but had the same commute for kindergarten.

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Old 12-11-2012, 06:08 PM   #7
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

yes. I am wondering why there is a need for a bus for a two block trip? I would have walked or been walking already...
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:23 PM   #8
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Where I grew up it was either more than a mile (2?) or if you had to cross a dangerous street that you could ride the bus, if you were closer than that with no dangerous streets you walked or were driven.

Can your nanny start walking your child to school so you can avoid the bus?
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:26 PM   #9
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

The kids don't walk because one of the two blocks is along a major road that wouldn't be safe to walk along. The only reason why it's 25 mph there is because it's a school zone. Most drivers don't follow the 25 mph limit there.

I've already made arrangements to leave a booster in case this happens again.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:28 PM   #10
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Re: Problems with the school bus... and I blame the taxpayers for this one!

I live in a small town and we are approximately 7 blocks from school, and we don't have a bus. I drive in cold weather, or bike/walk on nicer days. Our school has big issues with not enough parking for parents, which I think could be lessened if more people did walk (esp those super close to the school)
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