Should school bus service be reinstated?

Should CCPS reinstate school bus service?

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Like all businesses these days, Clayton County Public Schools has been forced to make tough decisions in order to balance its budget. To that end, they recently enforced a 20+ year old policy terminating bus service for students living within a mile and a half of their schools, saving the system about $4 million.

Ever since this decision was made, I have been bombarded with stories from families directly affected and their supporters. Tonight, they will ask the Board of Education to put childrens safety first by reinstating school bus service.

Although Morrow resident “Dee” has transportation to get her children to school, she supports reinstating bus service for parents without alternatives. “The State Pardon Parole and Probation Office where criminals of all kind report, including people with a history of violent crimes, is two blocks away from Jackson Elementary and one block from Jonesboro High School,” says Dee. “This is the number one concern of ALL parents in my community.”

Recently, parent LaSaundra Algeré could only listen as strangers offered her children car rides. “I gave directions over the phone to say “No thanks” and keep walking. Suddenly, I was talking to an adult who then asked if it would be okay to give my children a ride seeing as she had already given them a ride the day prior,” says Algeré, who works a full-time job along with her husband and can not take the kids to and from school. “I had no prior knowledge of this ride nor did I give my consent. I no longer trust this area nor my childrens’ judgment to walk to school alone.”

Other concerns include lack of sidewalks, insufficient lighting and large trucks and other vehicles traveling along our major roadways. “Early morning is when most trucks travel (on Southlake Parkway) and this places the students whom are walking at risk, especially when there are no sidewalks,” adds Dee. With daylight savings time fast approaching on November 7, walking will become even more dangerous for students with no transportation options.

“Children are exposed not only to the elements, traffic, and road conditions, but also to over [300] registered sexual offenders clustered in Clayton’s communities where kids are walking,” says 40-year resident Alicia Schneider, who hopes to work with the BOE to mobilize available parents to start a Neighborhood Walk (similar to a neighborhood watch). “I believe both the parents and BOE share responsibility. If we can get parents to act as escorts/chaperones and scout for potential road hazards, we can protect our kids.”

Would you join a "Neighborhood Walk" to keep kids in your community safe walking to/from school?

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Call the BOE Secretary if you wish to comment at tonight’s meeting, which starts at 6:00 PM (1058 Fifth Ave. Jonesboro).

Connect with other concerned CCPS parents on Facebook by “friending” Clayco Parent.

Your thoughts?

UPDATE: Last night BOE voted 6-3 not to reinstate school bus service.

62 comments Add your comment


September 18th, 2010
12:39 am

MY CHILD, MY JOB: You’re silly, we’re not talking about parents involved in their children life; that’s a given! We’re talking all the tax money we give to the school system to provide services like “Bussing” only to watch the BOE keep “non-essential” contractors, vendors, administrators, so-called specialist and the like on contract with “We the People” tax dollars. I say, before we pay all these “non-essentials”; let bus the smaller 5-10 years old children to/from school! Get your priorities straight! “Safety is the number 1 priority! Do a forensic audit on the BOE, you’ll find money; Race To the Top Money; and I bit ya!


September 18th, 2010
2:58 am

Translation: “in the meantime…” Classic yet unimaginative redirection to draw attention from all that you’re NOT doing in the REAL world to help REAL people (children). Good Job!

Shannon, M.Div.

September 18th, 2010
7:37 am

@Synamonsays: To answer your question, I do have a Master of Divinity degree (and a Th.M.–Master of Theology–on top of that). I was very excited when I graduated with my degree from Candler (Emory) and began to use this moniker then. It seems a little silly to me now to tack it on there, but since that’s how I’ve been posting, I haven’t changed it.

With respect to the much-disparaged grants…
* If “grandma” sends $100 and designates that it be used on clothes, then that’s $100 out of the family budget that won’t have to go to clothes. Designated grant money can do two things:
* It can relieve budgetary pressure, even when designated, by paying for something that would have needed to be paid for anyway.
* It can offer something to the school system that the system would otherwise not have been able to afford. Considering this is for children, I would think we would be glad to have additional funds for working on instructional improvement.

Folks disparaging grant money seem to think that if Grandma tells you what she’d like the money to be spent on, it’s best to just leave it on the table. I think some people have been listening to a little too much talk radio. Grant money is not evil.

Some of what children are asked to do here simply isn’t safe. I think everyone agrees on that, given that people who advocate for keeping bus service only for those who live 1.5 miles away suggest that parents should be walking/driving their children to school. They aren’t saying “Pish tosh, the kids are fine walking”; they’re saying “It’s a parent’s responsibility to make sure the child gets to school.”

Why does this parental responsibility end at 1.5 miles away?


September 18th, 2010
7:01 pm

Shannon, M.Div. Thank you for responding to my query about your credentials and you have a right to be proud and you are to be commended for your accomplishments. My question most respectfully to you is What would Jesus do about the little children?


September 18th, 2010
7:12 pm

@my job, my child. That response was very nonsensical especially because you definitely based on your post have absolutely no knowledge about what I do, nor do I know what you do. Let us get back on track. What is important is making sure that we protect our children. To revert back to a 20 year old policy that affects the children in such a drastic way is what I would term “unimaginative!”


September 18th, 2010
7:25 pm

OK, so if I get this straight REALLY, the state delegation, Sonny, Buckner, Glanton and ME got together at Longhorn one night and decided to strip CCPS of it’s accreditation to teach the foolish voters how to act AND rob the county of $80 million dollars in order to cut the bus service and put all the little children in mortal danger? That’s a really cool string of logic you have going there. Except the part about you seeing me, that’s just creepy.

But in all seriousness, I have NEVER stated here or anywhere else that there isn’t a much larger problem with our state, Sonny, BOE et al. I’ve been posting on the original question that started this thread: Should bus service be reinstated? While it would be REALLY nice to fix all the problems with everyone everywhere in one post, I’ve simply been pointing out that the county isn’t asking parents to put their kids in danger, they’re asking parents to take over the responsibility of safey for their own children in order to save CCPS some money. I simply don’t think this is unreasonable as a parent of one of the children in question.

And to Shannon- with- the- pretentious- title, if you’d read my post thoroughly you’d have noted that I said I wasn’t against the grant and that we need the money desperately…I was simply stating that there ARE some drawbacks to this Federal money.
Lastly, why do alot of you react so defensively to the suggestion that parents could be doing MORE? I’ve noticed several of the more passionate posters don’t even have kids in the school system. I DO have a child that is affected by this restriction and I don’t mind doing MORE. It’s my job.

I see stupid people

September 18th, 2010
8:21 pm

There is no money for the chillren. No money, no money, no money!!!

Shannon, M.Div.

September 20th, 2010
8:34 am

@Synamonsays–Well, I’d be surprised if Jesus showed up in any bureaucracy, to be honest. ;) But certainly the Bible suggests that we prioritize those who cannot defend themselves above all else–hence all the verses about widows, orphans, the poor, “strangers” in the community. I think children in general fall into that category of the defenseless.

@MY CHILD, MY JOB: Lots of people *do* disparage federal grants (you know, because they’re from that Evil Administration), so when I saw some conversation headed in that direction, I wanted to nip it right out. I also think it says something when people without children are passionate about this issue. If the greater community is outraged and it isn’t just the affected parents, then it’s clearly beyond a few whiners.

There’s a difference between saying that parents can be doing more (although most of the parents I know are already doing quite a bit, thank you) and saying that they need to reschedule their lives with little warning around specific times. I know very few single parents with the flexibility of schedule to be available at both 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. to pick up or walk their children to and from school.

So with respect to this busing issue…
* The timing was inappropriate, as parents did not find out in sufficient time to make alternate arrangements.
* The safety of the children is not considered, as evidenced by the fact that this is a blanket and not a case-by-case rule.
* The needs of working single parents, who are already often the sole source of income for their families, are shoved aside in favor of not raising taxes.

This strikes me as a moral issue, and it strikes me as morally wrong.

Shannon, M.Div.

September 20th, 2010
8:35 am

@MY CHILD, MY JOB: One more thing. It’s great that your life affords you the flexibility to be able to handle taking or walking your children to school. Why are you so defensive about the fact that not everyone has that luxury of time?


September 20th, 2010
9:07 am

They are many positions in Clayton County that should be cut/elimanated. Hundreds of office positions are duplicated. There are code enforcement vehicles sitting idly under trees and in store parking lots. The people making these decisions dont have children in school and don’t have a clue. I didnot vote for them and will not vote for them. Until all of these dead beat folks trying to run Clayton county are out, we will not do any better ! Eldrin Bell is too old to make any decision that are benefical to anyone except himself. Diversity in Clayton did not mean bring in a person just because he is black . Wake up folks ! Tax payers are not speaking up, we pay taxes to take care of our children .


September 20th, 2010
9:14 am

Hampton place is awesome. It doesn’t take a village, it takes a family.


September 20th, 2010
5:55 pm

It is hard to understand why Synamon – sould disparage a one percent sales tax. If it were not for the one percent Splost voted in several years ago – we would not have many of the fine new schools we have now. And the teaching would be even more inadequate. Thankfully the voters of that time understood, they were part of the solution. At least on the local level we control the spending for SPLOST money – not the federal or even state politicians.

And you misread me. I am all for helping people who “find” themselves in situation. Those numbers of people pale in comparison to those who “make” their situation by having no personal responsibility and leading to so many young unwed mothers and deadbeat “baby daddys”. Many people are soooo tired of hearing this “cradle to grave” mentality being espoused by the Liberals and Democrat. The woeful cycle will continues until a great leader can inspire the citizens to truly understand what the “DREAM” meant. Sadly, there are no such leaders at this time.