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February 1, 2013
For one family, bus strike means 8 buses, 4 trains, and few options
Because of the bus strike, 11-year-old Alejandro and his mom, Maria Uruchima, take three buses to get to school. One month into 2013, Maria Uruchima has already used up almost all of her sick and personal days getting her son to school. On the verge of pulling him out of school, she found a partial solution to scheduling nightmare created by the bus strike — but one that still leaves her missing work and commuting almost four hours each day. "I’ve started writing letters to the chancellor and the mayor saying, this is my situation," Uruchima said. "I’m one of those parents that’s really struggling. I can't afford to keep my son home because you guys aren't getting it together. What can I do to help move this process along?"
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."
November 18, 2011
Bus union confirms strike threat but says action is not imminent
School buses at Coney Island in 2008. The bus drivers union that Mayor Bloomberg warned earlier today could wage an imminent strike on the school bus system confirmed that a strike was "likely" but disputed that there were "immediate plans to do so." A labor dispute between the city and the union, the Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 1181, is over job protections for school bus drivers that would essentially guarantee employment for current employee regardless of which bus contractors win an upcoming contract for busing services. The city says it considers the strike illegal and is asking the National Labor Relations Board, which adjudicates conflict between employers and employees, to seek a court injunction to stop it. A strike would affect 152,000 of the city's 1.1 million students, including more than 50,000 students with special needs, according to the city. At a hastily assembled press conference today, Mayor Bloomberg said the union had not officially informed the city that it would strike but had signaled the intention strongly in conversations beginning Wednesday. The conversations took place because the city said it planned to announce that it would consider hiring new companies to provide pre-kindergarten busing. That announcement happened today. "They were very clear to our people that they would intentionally strike the system," Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott said about Local 1181 at the press conference. In a statement, Amalgamated Transit Union's Local 1181 President Michael Cordiello confirmed the threats but said it would not happen right away and he criticized Bloomberg for painting a doomsday scenario.
August 19, 2011
This week's safe schools snippets
Sexting, internet safety top parent concerns, study finds - Gay teens sue Minnesota district over bullying policies - Back-to-school safety tips - One student's bullying story - Facebook issues security guide for parents, teachers, students.
August 11, 2011
This week's safe schools snippets
Students urged to protect gadgets from theft - Bullying may result in lower test scores - School bus safety tips - Smartphone apps to protect your kids - Curbing teens' risky online behavior.
June 3, 2011
Denver's 'Success Express' to roll out of the station
The wheels are in motion for Denver Public Schools' "Success Express," a new bus shuttle system hitting the streets this fall for students enrolled in the district's Far Northeast and Near Northeast school networks.
May 24, 2011
Colorado school buses still spewing diesel exhaust fumes
About 2,000 Colorado school buses have been retrofitted to cut down on diesel fumes - but that leaves 3,000 that haven't been.
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