Private Schools, Public Buses? A Mamaroneck School Bus Primer

08 Mar, 2012

By Polly Kreisman


 


Many people first moving to the Mamaroneck School District, with about 5000 students in six schools, and coming from the Village of Larchmont, the Village of Mamaroneck and the Town of Mamaroneck, are surprised to find there are no traditional school bus routes.


Unlike most school districts in the County and the Country, children here do not ride school buses to and from their homes to school, unless they attend a private school within a certain distance. The latter provision comes under New York State law.


Historical reasons for this include the “neighborhood schools” concept, and practical reasons include the fact that families sending their children to private schools, even as far as Greenwich, still pay taxes to the Mamaroneck District and are entitled to some services.


Now, with the tax cap, according to the Lower Hudson Valley Council on School Superintendents,  if New York State funded or reduced the mileage limits for private school out-of-district transportation from 15 to 5 miles, and allowed consolidation of services, it could save over $3.5 million in one year. The Mamaroneck School Board is also investigating cost savings related to completely outsourcing its transportation services.


Tuesday night, the Mamaroneck School Board discussed the idea of public transportation for kids at:



  • French American School (Upper School- Mamaroneck)

  • German School (White Plains)

  • Holy Child (Rye)

  • Iona Prep (New Rochelle)

  • Rye Country Day

  • Ursuline School (New Rochelle)


You can imagine the response from parents of the approximately 100 private and parochial school students in grades 6-12, who may soon be on Bee Line buses to school. In some cases, the commuting time is estimated at an hour or more.


The Mamaroneck Board will continue this discussion March 20 at 7:30 p.m. The full presentation can be viewed on the district’s website .
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  • katie

    No problem – I’ll just move to a district that considers the well-being of all its children. Or stop paying my school taxes.

    Public schools are great and provide a great service. They unfortunately don’t fit the needs of all children or all families. When non-NYers hear the taxes I pay, they laugh in disbelief. They also laugh that Larchmont doesn’t even provide school bus service to public school kids. What a joke this district has become.

    • Church Lady

      Dear Iris Blau,

      Now aren’t you special.

      • Iris Blau

        And your issue is?

        A very regular gal; believe me. I just have a funny habit of enjoying facts and dislike unwarrented resentments.

      • http://www.theloopny.com editor

        Church lady- pls remember we do not allow personal attacks. Please let’s address the issues, not the commenters.

  • Anonymous

    Why don’t we all stop paying property taxes to MUFSD. Let it market its services in an open market along with others. Some may pay for MUFSD, others for other providers (while keeping church and state separate). For those of limited financial resources, a progressive municipal income tax can provide for reasonable school vouchers. Competition often leads to improved services and values. We all might learn something if the District had no expectation of automatic collections.

    • JPB

      I’d go one step further. I’m a believer in a “User Pays” system. If you want to crank out kids, you should pay directly for their education, regardless of where they go.

  • xanthe

    One thng is very obvious it is not about the students anymore . The Board looked like they could care less about students walking in pouring rain or freezing weather. I heard a rumor that we invested in software for special education and it is not compatible with the hardware. If this is true I would like to know how much money was wasted on this . I am sure there is plenty of waste . Does anybody know about this?

    • jsacks

      The board “Could Care Less”! (A grammar lesson may be in order)

      As you say they care a lot. No one wants to be in the position to have to make this difficult a decision. The system would love to be able to provide everything it can to every child, in and out of the system. The realities are we can’t afford everything. Costs have continued to rise and unfortunately the parents that choose not to have their children in the system will have to live without a perk that they had for many years. 80% of our in-district students do not get a bus. They walk, take public transportation, car-pool and are driven by parents. You will now need to find one of these situations that work for you. The school system is talking about eliminating bus service for less than 20% of the private school children.

      The MUFSD will do what is required by law. Is this the best? No. School systems are responsible for providing “Adequate” not “Optimal” services.

      As long as our Unions continue to demand more than the taxpayer is willing to spend we will have to make difficult cuts. Call and write your Teachers Union at:

      914-834-2823 (office)
      914-834-1620 (fax)
      http://www.mamaroneckta.org/

      And tell them that they can no longer make the demands they make at the expense of our students, maybe then you can get the bus back.

      • xanthe

        I did not mean that parents sent kids to private school because of free busing and i doubt a significant number wil return to public school if transportation is no longer provided by the District . My child is in private school because a smaller setting was recommended as well as bullying at Hommocks . I am sure the District saves money on this as my son has an IEP and in addition to them not educating him they also do not have to provide the services of a resource room

    • JPB

      If you start a sentence with “I heard a rumor”, you know you don’t have a leg to stand on in the argument, right?

      Please get your facts in order, then come to the table.

      • xanthe

        I asked if anyone else heard thiis . It was brought to my attention by someone in the district who is usually credible . I was asking if anyone else could substantiate it . Some rumors are actually true .

  • jjinla

    This might sound too obvious, but why is it OK for the public school kids to walk in the rain, but not kids that attend private school? Oh the horror!

    As for the friends that laugh at our property taxes, tell them that our school district pays to bus kids to private schools, but not public. Tell me how many districts outside of NY do that? It’s stupid laws like this that lead to our exhorbitant taxes (not that there aren’t many other things that could be saved, but still…)

  • xanthe

    Difference is that they are walking up to 2 miles not to school but maybe to a train station or a bus stop where they then may have to transfer to another bus . How many public school kids do that in larchmont mamaroneck? How many have up to a possible 2 hour commute to the public school ? Perhaps you a re you referring to the out of disrict kids who are fraudelentlt enrolled in the school using addresses in the district . it is by no means the same commute . I guess you would not mind your kid walking 2 miles in 16 degree weather . I object to any kid doing that public or private . Obviously you have a chip on your shoulder and are not interested in the well being of students

    • jsacks

      I would not make my kid walk two miles in 16 degree weather, I would drive him, arrange for a car-pool or arrange for contracted private transit.

      One of my Children has a 1.1 mile distance to elementary school on a street with no sidewalks, he is driven to school and car pools. The time to pick him up from the time I leave the house to the time he is home is 1/2 hour and it is done every day, you can do it to. The other next year will have an almost 3 mile trip and he is not getting a bus and I will drive him or have him car-pool.

      I chose to have children and I understand my responsibility to get them to and from school, from school to religious class, to and from friends houses for play dates, to the doctors for medical appointments, etc. What possible reason could you have to demand this as an entitlement? The law does not state that and the schools can no longer afford it.

      Public transportation is an option, maybe not the best option for all, but it’s an option. If that does not work for you then find another alternative as the parents for 4,100 other students in the district that do not get buses do.

      I suggest you start working on constructive ways to find a middle ground vs. just digging your heals in and demanding a service where there is no obligation under the law. Either change the law or work to facilitate between all the parties a way to reduce cost and still have a way to transport your children if you can’t.

      If you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem.

      • xanthe

        I am only commenting Why do you assume I am without a bus (not) and part of the problem? I am entitled to my opinion .

    • xanthe

      Most people will not make their kid walk in 16 degree weather and the board is aware of that . However stdents go to private school for many reasons since the public schools are not one size fits all . Not every private school student is there because of entitlement there are numerous issues-religious , social – bulllying , learning differences etc. The fact that these studets are not enrolled in the District is a significant financial benefit to the District .The cost of educating them would far exceed the cost of busing them . I am sure there is plenty of waste and ill spent money that the taxpayers are not aware of

  • Iris Blau

    @jsacks and others;

    Let me help you and other public school parents gain a little insight into the mindset of at least one private school parent.

    We have lived in Larchmont for many, many years. We pay huge taxes as a function of the value of our home. Much more than most other families.

    With that in mind understand that we utilize minimal local services. Our dollars have purely served every other child in the community without benefiting ours in the least.

    (In fairness though I must note that having a home in a “good” school district adds to the value of our home)

    I am not complaining about that; our choice.

    Please don’t suggest that you are doing us some big fat favor in providing bus service; you aren’t.

    It really is the least the community can do to “give back” to families like ourselves that pay a lot into the system and otherwise get nothing back.

    From our own experience I can tell you that we gave up on the bus service as they were incompetent and could not get the kids to school on time. We utilized a private driver.

    Always remember that economically Larchmont is no different than the state or the nation. The wealiest families pay the most to be here and generally make minimal use of school and recreational facilites. (Your welcome)

    Something to keep in mind when you hear snide remarks about “private school types and their sense of entitlement” from the people in the little house with four kids in the system.

    • theLoop

      wow. where can those of us little people in the small house with 4 kids who can’t hire a DRIVER to take our kids to school line up to kiss your a**?

      • Iris Blau

        No kissing necessary.

        Nothing wrong with having four kids.
        Nothing wrong with living in a lttle house.
        Nothing wrong with having your kid’s education sudsidized as a function of another family not showing up.

        Suggesting that bus service for the “no shows” (who have paid for far more than a bus ticket) is some sort of undeserved perk? – Wrong!

      • Iris Blau

        Incidently: The only person that referred to such families are “little people” is you and you alone. Nothing about my post suggested that I harbor that attitude (and I don’t).

        Facts is facts my friend; facts is facts.

    • Anonymous

      Holy moly…I live in a big house and pay enornous taxes and even I can read the absolute condescention in your tone.

      Let me simplify it for you. Just because you pay taxes and choose not to use the services, doesn’t mean you are entitled to a freebie. I pay taxes to the library, too, but don’t use it. Am I somehow entitled to a prepaid Amazon gift card for my troubles? I could go on about the number of taxes I pay but get nothing for. In almost NO state in the country do you get free bus service to private school. It’s insane. Elsewhere we paid $4-5K a year and it was taken care of directly by the school. Schools here don’t offer it because it is not demanded.

      Don’t demonize Mamaroneck for coming to their senses on this. Even Rye, Rye Neck and Pelham have changed their policy. You can’t complain about exhorbitant taxes and demand lavish services in the same paragraph.

      • Iris Blau

        1. Private school families don’t consider it a “freebie”. It is the one thing they get back for paying their high (and often the highest) taxes in the town.

        2. The non-use of the library/free-gift card comparison is ridiculous.

        3. I never complained about our taxes; nor did I suggest lavish services.

        4. In my mind the ridiculous part is the fact that we had three kids at two separate schools and the bus was incapable of getting any of them to school on time. That meant that that we had to go elsewhere.

        5. Taxes should be utilized to help all families including private school kids.

        6. The problem is really not the cost of the bus. The problem is that the system wasted so much money elsewhere. It is easy to get the larger population to deny the needs of the “hoity-toity” private school kids.

        7. Remember that if getting the private kids to school is too tough/expensive they will leave them for public schools. Explain how that will reduce costs.

      • Anonymous

        The only ridiculous thing is that since it was once put forward, families have taken it as an entitlement.

        How many of us pay for ADT services? Do you expect anything from the police department in return since you opted not to use their service? Let’s go into detail about what your income taxes pay for that you get nothing from? The problem with having lower income tax rates and higher property taxes is that when you write a check, it stings more and you feel a greater sense of entitlement as to what it pays for.

        This whole ‘oh no, the kids will have to walk in the sleet and wind!” thing really has to stop. Let’s be hinest here…it means that you will have to haul yourself out of the house before you’ve finished your 1st cup of coffee like the rest of us.

        Seriously, you aren’t helping the cause one bit with your rants. You unlikely to get much sympathy with that attitude.

      • Iris Blau

        1. Nothing that you have paid for is an entitlement.

        2. You really don’t understand what ADT is and does; do you? A little embarrassing.

        3. You would be amazed how early I’m up and out, chickee.

        4. You really don’t what rant means do you?

      • Anonymous

        I’m rising above the petty personal attacks and focusing on the issues here…can you? Besides, you are taking examples way, way too literally for a coherent argument at this point.

        Suffice to say, taxes pay for essential services that benefit the greater good. Just because you don’t personally benefit from a particular line item does not mean that you are owed anything. There is simply no other precedent.

        Kudos to all of the other districts that have ended this benefit. I personally will vote down every proposed school budget until this is eliminated, and encourage others to do the same. Not a single thing in our public schools should be cut before this is.

  • xanthe

    FYI The daughter of our school board president takes a bus to private school .

  • FactChecker

    1. School district busing rule is the same for public and private school students. As stated on the Mamaroneck School District website:
    Transportation is provided for Mamaroneck resident students enrolled in the kindergarten through eighth grades who live more than 2 miles, but less than 15 miles from the public or non-public school they attend.
    Transportation is also provided for students in grades nine through twelve who reside more than 3 but less than 15 miles from their school. [bold typeface added]

    There are resident students bused to Mamaroneck public schools. Providing different transportation to private schools would, in fact, be the creation of two classes of students for transportation purposes, a circumstance decried by posters opposing busing the private school kids.
    2. It is not reasonable to expect any 11-year-olds to take public transportation, including transferring to other buses and/or trains. First, the law itself distinguishes middle school from high school students; through grade 8, busing is required if the school is more than two miles from home; for grades 9 and up, it must exceed three miles.
    Second, examples cited by the district do not accurately support its argument. Yes, Fordham Prep students take MetroNorth but they are high school, not middle school, students and are not required to transfer to another train or bus. Hommocks Middle School and Mamaroneck High School students can take a bee-line bus to school from certain areas, but that bus is almost exclusively students (it does stop at the Larchmont train station) and does not require any transfers. The students using that bus also are not eligible for district busing.
    Furthermore, it is disingenuous to point to New Rochelle’s busing; as a city, it is not subject to the same NYS requirements. The applicable NYS provision is:
    City school districts are legally required to transport pupils with disabilities only, but may also transport pupils without disabilities. In addition, city school districts are not required to transport to schools located outside the city. However, pupils residing in the enlarged portion of an enlarged city school district are entitled to transportation to schools outside the city up to 15 miles from their homes. In all cases, where transportation is provided, it must be provided in a reasonably safe, economical and efficient manner.
    http://www.p12.nysed.gov/schoolbus/Parents/htm/general_info_intro.htm
    Even in my day, a generation ago in a different (and non-affluent) Westchester community, parents did not allow kids to take the public bus to White Plains without adults before age 12, and that was for a Saturday daylight trip directly to our downtown location.
    At the board meeting, the school district administrators displayed a cavalier attitude and seeming lack of concern toward the safety of these children, particularly in light of the recent robberies near train stations.
    3. As numerous parents pointed out at the school board meeting, the district used many erroneous start and end times in calculating the anticipated commute.
    4. It is more cost-effective for the district to transport the students currently at private/parochial schools than to educate them. According to the Mamaroneck Schools website, in 2009-10, education cost $23,885 per student. http://www.mamkschools.org/education/components/scrapbook/default.php?sectiondetailid=28753&#Tuition At the board meeting, the cost of transportation per private/parochial school student was estimated to be around $2000.
    May I suggest that the district expects a certain number of students to not attend the public schools, as neither the school budget nor the physical plant of the buildings could accommodate an additional 600 students. Indeed, none of the six district schools could even take 100 more students, even if the students were evenly distributed. And this scenario could occur if there is an exodus from the district by private school parents.
    5. The district set itself up for a discrimination lawsuit: five of the six schools it proposed to affect are parochial/cultural schools.

    • xanthe

      Thank you for your information . I dislike the attitude that private school students are there because they are entitiled/ elitists. That is a very simplistic view of the situation . I think that people are so focused on the class issue created by this that they do not see the big picture . You are absolutely correct that if all these students were to be enrolled in the public school the cost would be substantial as well as the inpact of absorbing so many additional students. I agree that the Board seemed very cavelier about safety . In reality I am sure that there is money that is wasted and ill spent . For example have we verified that everyone in the school actually lives in the District .? Also I do not see why we have to contiune educating our teachers children at no cost except to the taxpayer . I think we should take care of the students who reside in the District first.

      • Iris Blau

        Well put!

    • jsacks

      There are a few flaws in your logic.

      1. I Agree that most children will not take the public alternative, it does not need to be the “best” it has simply been proven that it’s a legal alternative. Most parents will drive their children. The administration responsibility right now is to make sure they comply with the law, not do anything over and above that, you need to realize this so you can move on, the objective is to save money and save teachers.

      2. It is not valid that the only reason that parents send their children to private school is because they get free transportation from the district. There will not be a mass exodus from private to public.

      3. If in fact children do shift from Private to Public most will not receive transportation after the shift since the vast majority of MUSFD students do not get transportation. This will leave parents now in the position of having put their child in Public school and driving them.

      4. If some students do migrate to Public, the system can absorb them. It does not cost $23,885 in marginal cost to educate a child. This includes all the overheads of the school. Only until an incremental teacher is added is there an additional expense. The out of pocket expenses for a marginal student is negligible. The savings from the transportation reduction will offset this cost.

      5. Threats of law-suits are counterproductive, the system is not being discriminatory. If in fact where a law suit to go forward, the system will most likely need to adopt a policy of providing no transportation to any private student where there is a marginal argument, not the opposite.

      My suggestion in this matter is to find a middle ground. The school may be able to provide a voucher for transportation for each student. There could be a phasing out over time where Private schools could work to start to absorb this expense. They could negotiate with an on behalf of the private school parents with the outsourced provider.

      Perhaps, offer a voucher for 75% of cost year 1, 50% of cost year 2, 25% of cost year 3 and 0 year 4. This would reduce the pain and allow private school parents and their schools to develop an alternative system for transportation of their children, while at the same time saving the district money.

      Private school parents have got to wake up to the reality that there is a significant majority that is unwilling to pay for this expense at the expense of their children. This is going to pass, figure out how to minimize the pain.

    • Iris Blau

      All excellent points (especially #4) based on FACTS and not emotions.

      The district makes a nice PROFIT from families that send their kids to private school even when the cost of busing is factored in.

      The simple truth is that the public schools simply do not meet the needs of many local families. Helping them make private school possible is better FOR EVERYONE. It makes the district more desirable FOR EVERYONE.

      Thanks again for a reality-based contribution.

  • monica casey

    The contentious issue of subsidized transportation to private schools is an old one. I moved here in 1991 and it was a jaw-dropping moment when I learned that local children in private schools received transportation while nearly no child here qualified for busing to public schools. This nasty public fist-fight in the Loop is toxic and downright ugly, but it does give voice to the real, permanent problem of rising costs and diminished tax revenues. We are not alone: every school district is suffering. Attempts to manage costs have to be honest and responsible. The right thing for our community is to examine the good of the majority of children here in the Mamaroneck District and decide which services are truly fundamental and which are not AS important in the larger scheme of most children’s lives. It is right to examine those services that are fundamental to the education of students versus those are not. I say that private school transportation is not really central to the task of education here in our district and it is legitimate to cut it from the budget. I applaud the Board’s careful, responsible examination of priorities. One of my children attended a private school for two years and had access to district transportation. It wasn’t necessary for us, we worked out carpooling arrangements. MOST families can, it’s a pretty doable task. Let’s get realistic here, and let’s remember what civic responsibility is. In times of stress we must squeeze all we can from available funds and apply them to the most basic educational services. Ugly shouting matches are totally detrimental to civic discourse and not good example to the children we claim to love. Do the right thing and your children will thank you and admire you for that. Monica Casey

  • Private School Kid (Class of 1994)

    Iris, judging by your prolific posting in response to this article (and many others it seems) it would appear that you have enough free time on your hands to drive your kids to Rye Country Day yourself. My mom was a full-time physician who ran her department and taught on the faculty of the hospital she worked at and she still managed to drive me and my sister to and from school almost every day (and on the days she couldn’t, she arranged for us to carpool). Parenthood equals responsibility and responsibility does not simply equate to paying your taxes. I attended private school from Pre-K through graduate school and my parents (and now I) have paid plenty of taxes along the way – and none of us felt we were owed anything for this. Society has a responsibility to provide certain services to its citizens and education is one of them. You are a member of society and benefit in many ways from the ecosystem around you which supports your ability to enjoy your life. If you choose to opt out of what’s being provided to you, that’s your choice, but it’s not an a la carte menu. Do you expect the government to subsidize your car simply because you choose not to use public transportation? Time to grow up, realize that our district (and most people) are not as fortunate as you apparently are to have the means to provide everything under the sun to their constituencies (and their families), and as J Sacks says, contribute to the solution not the problem…

    • Iris Blau

      PSK –

      Your response is both condescending and presumptuous on a number of levels; none of which is particularly appropriate.

      Not everyone with a different point of view needs a lecture on man, society, and how it works.

      One of the reasons that we can afford private school is that my spouse and I are highly educated, highly accomplished people with a clear vision for what is best for all concerned. You don’t get very far in business by being selfish and self-serving (well at least not for very long).

      I appreciate the fact that public parents have a different viewpoint. I also appreciate the fact that private busing may not be possible under any circumstance.

      I would suggest really reading what people have to say and not inferring personal qualities; you’re apt to learn more.

      • PSK

        Iris,

        I’ve read everything that you have posted and still disagree with you strongly. I quote:

        “Please don’t suggest that you are doing us some big fat favor in providing bus service; you aren’t.

        It really is the least the community can do to “give back” to families like ourselves that pay a lot into the system and otherwise get nothing back.”

        What part of your position have I failed to understand? Your basic premise is that you pay taxes for a public school that you don’t use, and are therefore entitled to receive something back in return (in this case, a bus for you private school children). What you seem to be missing in your comments is that I (and many others) fundamentally disagree with your basic premise. You pay taxes to support public education as a basic good that we as a society have determined needs to be provided to the public – not as a consumer buying a service for yourself. You benefit from public education in many ways even if you don’t use it (you therefore do “get something back”). If you run a business, does access to an educated workforce not support that business? Does an education not help people who are your potential customers get better, higher paying jobs so that they have more discretionary income to buy whatever goods or services you produce? And, guess what, without public education, at some point a largely uneducated mob would eventually show up at the front door of that big house you own with those “huge taxes” and ask not no nicely for you to leave because they decided they wanted to move in (cross reference European History and the demise of the feudal system).

        I have nothing against private schools, the kids who attend them, or the parents who send them there. I may make the decision that one or all of my own children will be better served by attending private school just as my parents did for me all those years ago (we also are fortunate enough to have the means to do so, and I’d venture to guess that my spouse and I have ample “education” and professional “accomplishments” to give you and your hubby quite the run for your money, although we may lack such “clear vision”). But if/when I do, I will do what my parents did – I’ll drive them, I’ll arrange carpools, and if all else fails, I’ll pay for them to get to/from school myself! And in the process, I will gladly pay taxes to support a public education system that I am self aware enough to recognize benefits me in oh so many ways, even if my kids never set foot inside of one of the actual schools or on a bus that takes them someplace else.

        And for the record, this isn’t a lecture, it’s a debate, and you are losing…

      • iris blau

        I feel that there is a bigger picture.

        Since you have not once alluded to it I will assume that you can not or will not get it ( and that’s OK).

        Congratulations on “winning” the “debate”.

      • PSK

        I don’t “get it” because I’ve never heard you articulate anything other than a very narrow point of view (i.e. you pay a lot of taxes and get nothing in return other than this bus). If you have a broader perspective, by all means, please articulate it. The only other point of substance you asserted (or actually pointed to in another user’s post) was the fact that you believe it is cheaper to pay for busses for these kids than to educate them – a point which J Sacks quite quickly pointed out is erroneous, since 1. the $24k figure is a fully-loaded figure containing all of the fixed overhead of the district, and isn’t anywhere near the marginal cost of educating as additional student (which JS rightly points out is nearly $0 until you start adding teachers) and 2. very few, if any, of these kids would come back to MUFSD simply because the bus went away (several posters have admitted they don’t even use the bus today because it is so inconvenient). You accuse others of being emotional, but your entire argument is based on emotion (they just happen to be yours). The facts are these: 1. the district is financially constrained and looking for places to save, 2. right now it provides private school student with a bussing solution that EXCEEDS what is required by NYS law (the law requires “transportation” not private busses), and 3. by providing the bare minimum that is required by NYS law, the district could save a substantial amount of money that could be used to maintain/improve the quality of the Mamaroneck public schools (which, despite some very creative counter-arguments by some other posters, is BY FAR the greatest contributor to property values in the area – for proof just browse the listings in Pelham or on the other side of the New Rochelle border).

  • Parent

    One of our children attends private school, for a variety of reasons; one attends public. I don’t expect or want my public-school son to take a bus because most of us live within walking distance or a short drive to school and can also arrange carpools. I don’t expect the district to provide busing to my private-school son, though of course I find it very helpful and convenient. Most of the kids at my son’s school come from the city and their parents have to pay additionally ($3-4k) for bus service; they are always surprised that we get it for free. Most afternoons we carpool home because we do not have a late sports bus. Anyone who can afford private school can probably afford to join forces with other parents to provide bus transportation or carpool. My understanding is that this is a STATE law, it will have to be lobbied to change at the state level; as far as I understand, Mamaroneck can’t simply opt out of it.

    • Anonymous

      It’s already been opted out of in many districts – Rye, Rye Neck, Pelham, etc.. It just says that it must provide transportation – not door to door private buses. The kids get put on public transportation instead.

      From what I understand, it’s a done deal for kids a certain number of miles from school. They are cut off.

      It is a strange law, though. I’m not even sure why they came up with it, unless they were just looking for money to throw away.

  • Anonymous

    How very sad to read the comments below. It seems that only one is written in a factual, non-biased, informative manner. That we treat neighbors (even if metaphorically speaking in cyberspace) with such disdain is uncanny. The comments are filled with assumptions and presumptions about those who attend private versus public schools. The most blatant of them all is that if a parent sends a child to private school, he/she can afford to do so. Another presumption is that perhaps that parent had a choice. What happens when the school disctrict one lives in cannot provide the “fair and appropriate” education mandated by law? It is not appropriate nor accurate to assume that private school is for the have’s versus the have not’s. People who care deeply about education for all work hard to create scholarships to avoid such disparities. And when a district cannot provide the education, there is an assumption that private school will be a solution. When we speak about transportation for these students, we also assume that every parent can afford to drive and pick up. Not all parents get to be stay at home parents. Does this dialogue intend to dismiss this kind of family? The transportation to and from these schools is following the same protocol as those in the public schools — a certain distance from the school, and transportation is provided. It would be a very different dialogue if we could speak about carrying the torch for educating all of the students in our district and providing for them regardless of whether it is public or private. There will always be those that view private school as an elitist act and defiance against public education, but that is not necessarily where the truth lives.

    • Anonymous

      Yours is an excellent, insightful comment.

      The simple fact of the matter is that local schools do not meet the needs of a substantial subset of students. The extremely bright, those emotionally and physically challenged, and those with a strong preference for education based in a strong moral framework.

      Busing gives parents a choice and the ability to chose makes the Town a more desirable place to be. That contributes to the value of housing for everybody. It also relieves the community of the cost of helping students that require extra levels of costly help; i.e. Windward kids.

      What you find in these posts is a lot of resentment (even in posts that are working it hard to suggest that it’s not resentment). I earlier alluded to utilizing a “driver” and people resented it. Have both you and your spouse working 40-60 hours a week and you will need one too (although you might refer to them as a housekeeper, helper, nanny, or au pair).

      The problem is not the busing it is the pension plans that were structured when money was flowing like water.

      We might have to give up busing in any case but I think it is a shame for the entire community.