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June 27, 2019
From civics to vaping, here are 10 education laws taking effect July 1 in Tennessee
Students will have to pass a U.S. civics test to earn their high school diploma under dozens of laws taking effect with the new school year.
September 24, 2018
Facing his first crisis, Carranza fired a top official. But can he fix New York City’s yellow bus system?
The busing problems are the first significant test of Carranza’s leadership during a crisis since taking the helm of the nation’s largest school system last April.
February 21, 2013
Return of yellow school buses brings relief and new challenges
Assistant teacher Miguelina Valeria takes attendance as students exit the bus at Manhattan's P721 Wednesday. Five weeks ago, what happened at P721 in Manhattan on Wednesday would not have seemed extraordinary: Yellow buses pulled up by the main entrance and assistant teacher Miguelina Valerio took attendance and greeted students as they headed into school. But after a bus drivers' strike that lasted over a month, the yellow buses marked the end of nightmarish commutes for many parents and, for many students with special needs, a long-awaited return to class. P721 is a District 75 school that provides occupational training to high school students. During the strike, Valerio said, only 70 or 80 students came to school each day out of a student body of 200. “More than half the students were missing,” she said. “Little by little they’re coming back.”
January 4, 2013
City's conflict with bus drivers union extends with warring letters
PHOTO: Laura Faith KebedeA flyer distributed by the city's school bus drivers union warns parents against the city's conditions for new contracts. The city and its school bus drivers union are each appealing to parents as they stake out their positions in a contract dispute that could cause a bus strike. On Thursday, the city held a required meeting to explain its conditions for new contracts for school bus companies. One condition that it isn't including, citing a 2011 legal decision, is a seniority clause guaranteeing that current drivers can keep their jobs even if the bus companies they work for do not win a new contract. That omission has drawn the ire of the bus drivers’ union, the Amalgamated Transit Union’s Local 1181, whose members authorized a strike over the issue when it first arose in 2011. In a flyer handed out at the city's meeting and being distributed by email, the ATU asks parents to lobby the city on bus drivers' behalf. Telling parents that "there will be a stoppage to service to you," the flyer warns parents that doing away with seniority protections could put children at risk. Update: ATU 1181 President Michael Cordiello said through a spokeswoman today that the union is "exploring every option to avert a strike" but that it remained a likely possibility if the city does not cave. "Please support us in our cause because you don't want, 'just anybody' driving your children," the flyer says. A few sentences later, in bold letters, it says, "Don't put your child on an unsafe bus!" Chancellor Dennis Walcott dismisses safety concerns in a letter to parents that students are taking home today.
November 6, 2012
22 schools shut for 7th straight day; no buses for some students
Students in 22 city schools will miss a seventh straight day of class on Wednesday while the Department of Education continues to restore buildings damaged and disrupted by Hurricane Sandy. And thousands of other students will have to make their way to school on their own because the department does not have enough buses to move all of the students who need transportation. After calling local private bus companies and petitioning the state and federal emergency relief organizations, the city has rounded up more than 100 additional buses to join the 7,400 that ran on Monday, officials said this evening. But still, buses will serve students at fewer than half of the 43 schools that are so severely damaged that they must be moved. Those schools, which together enroll about 20,000 students, are opening for the first time on Wednesday. A major problem, Chief Academic Officer Shael Polakow-Suransky said this evening, is that the department's transportation hub, located in Long Island City, still does not have power. The department can only add new routes, not make the ones it already operates more efficient, while the computer system that programs the city's 7,700 school bus routes is down, he said. "We don’t have access to any of that," he said. "Everything we are doing at this point is by hand."
January 9, 2012
Only sign of school bus strike threat: Illicitly used MetroCards
The “strong possibility” of a school bus strike that the city raised the alarm about back in November hasn’t come to pass. But it…
November 21, 2011
As dust settles after strike threat, questions about city's urgency
School buses at Coney Island in 2008. For Simon Jean-Baptiste, a veteran school bus driver who belongs to Local 1181, the city's announcement Friday that his union could go on strike at any moment was news to him. "It's the city that we heard that from," Jean-Baptiste said today. Jean-Baptiste, a former vice president in the union, said he had no idea there was any kind of citywide strike threat until he first heard about it from media reports prompted by a last-minute press conference called by Mayor Bloomberg on Friday. Bloomberg warned that Local 1181's leadership opposed the city's plans for a new contract for pre-kindergarten bus drivers because the city would not guarantee job security for experienced drivers. As a result, he said, an "immediate" strike was possible. At the same time, Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott sent a comprehensive plan to principals for how they should handle a strike should it occur. Hours later, Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello said in a statement that a strike over seniority rights was "likely" but not imminent. Today, Cordiello said in a statement that the union was beginning to weigh its options. "We do not want to strike, but we have been forced to keep our options open by cost-cutting proposals by Mayor Bloomberg," he said. As buses rolled up to schools on time this morning, and with no strike imminent, some are questioning the urgency with with Bloomberg and Walcott presented the threat.
December 18, 2009
Bus companies suing DOE over school bus contract
A group of bus companies sued the Department of Education today, claiming that the city has violated competitive bidding statutes by contracting with a company known to have bribed school bus inspectors. Members of the Panel for Educational Policy approved a three-year contract with Logan Bus Co. at a meeting last night. Steven Shore, an attorney representing the rival bus companies — among them Amboy Bus Co. and Pioneer Transportation Corp. — warned panel members that approving the contract would lead to an immediate legal challenge. Asked why the contract had not been competitively bid, the DOE’s general counsel, Michael Best, said competitive bidding would have been too difficult because all of the city’s school bus contracts expired at the same time. The new contract with Logan allows for staggered expiration dates in the future. Shore's affidavit is below.
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