Thousands of DeKalb students may lose bus service??? Do you think this is right? Hi I live on atlanta georgia and this is news to me read the article below and tell me what you think see if you like it They are doing my children wrong Dekalb County school officials may end the practice of busing students beyond their neighborhood campus — a controversial decision that would end decades of service to magnet and other choice schools that began with desegregation. The draft plans, expected to be announced today, come as the system wrestles with funding cuts, soaring fuel prices and declining student enrollment. School officials say the busing change alone would save the system $5.9 million a year. Recent headlines: Thousands of DeKalb students may lose bus rides School board seeks legal advice on buyouts 8 qualify for school board seat • DeKalb County news The change affects about 5,600 of the school district’s 99,600 students, including those who may be enrolled in magnet schools, charter schools and academic theme schools or who transferred from lower-performing campuses. It will bring DeKalb more in line with other metro Atlanta school systems, officials say. Cobb County, for example, provides transportation to its magnet high schools, but students are not picked up door to door as DeKalb has done. Gwinnett County does not provide out-of-area transportation for its choice schools. In DeKalb, Superintendent Crawford Lewis expressed frustration at what he calls “a brain drain” of the most successful students from neighborhood schools. Stopping bus service to magnet schools could mean more of those students stay close to home. DeKalb officials expect an angry reaction from parents who have come to rely on the busing service. Many, such as Ellenwood resident Christine Norman, say sending their child to magnet or choice schools is essential. Although several choice schools in DeKalb score among the top schools in Georgia, the number of DeKalb schools overall meeting federal testing goals plunged this year to 54 percent — the lowest in metro Atlanta. “We do what she has to do to go to a school where learners are a majority,” said Norman, whose 10th-grade daughter attends the DeKalb Early College Academy, a choice school in Stone Mountain. Her daughter is zoned to attend Cedar Grove High School, which did not meet testing goals. “If she had to go back to her home school, learners are a minority,” said Norman. That’s not an option, she stressed. “I would walk her there [to DECA] if I had to.” Details of the new busing plans will be presented this evening at the first of at least four parent meetings officials will hold over the next two weeks. A presentation to school board members is expected Sept. 26. A formal vote by the board, however, is not expected until January. DeKalb already began some transportation changes at the start of this school year, when officials announced the system will no longer bus transfer students allowed to leave their home campus under federal law — a move that affected about 1,265 students. The system could not afford to buy or lease the 45 additional buses needed to accommodate those students this year. Their parents instead may file for federally funded mileage reimbursement. That reimbursement, however, does not exist for students who choose to attend DeKalb-specific schools and programs such as a magnet school. School officials originally planned to recommend outright that so-called “out-of-area” busing be stopped starting next school year. They now say they are open to suggestions from the community, although it is clear they want to make changes. “What we’re saying to parents is, ‘Here’s what we’re dealing with. What do you think we should do?’ ” said Robert Moseley, DeKalb’s associate superintendent for administrative services, who has spearheaded the planning. “Every dollar spent on transportation [outside of neighborhood schools] is a dollar that could be spent on education,” Moseley said. “It’s money there’s no state funding for.” The system over the spring and summer assembled an 18-member transportation task force, which included members from MARTA, Coca-Cola and other school systems. Lynn Simpson, who oversees Fulton County schools’ transportation, was on the task force. She said the group did not directly recommend stopping bus service outside students’ home attendance area. But she said their studies validated DeKalb’s concern about “budgetary constraints.” Out of 153 campuses total, DeKalb currently offers 14 magnet programs, seven “theme” schools (schools that concentrate on a specific discipline, such as technology) and four system-run charter schools. Last year, officials also announced a four-year effort to increase choice programs in more neighborhood schools; when finished, they say DeKalb will offer more than 40 choice options. No other system in Georgia has as wide a range in magnet and choice schools as DeKalb or offers as wide a range of bus service.
Frankly I think the parents of the kids in magnet schools are doing the other parents wrong. If you want your child to go to a school outside your district then you should find a way to get your child there. Or the parents of the kids in magnet schools should be paying extra for the transpiration service.