We’ve written a lot about the crazy school busing situation in Jefferson County’s public school system. Kids are routinely uprooted from their neighborhoods and bused all the way across town in rides that can exceed an hour in length, one way.
With inadequate supervision, it was inevitable that problems would occur. The only surprising thing is how many problems are occurring, and how nothing very effective is being done to fix the situation.
The latest insight into the conditions on the school system’s buses came in a FOX-41 expose which ran on May 9, 2011.
Some interesting points:
• The school system has 930 buses, but only 40 security cameras.
• There are only 25 bus monitors. In all other cases, the bus driver is the only adult on board.
• The Transportation Director admits, “Every day we have a fight on a bus, or two buses, or three buses.”
• Noses are getting broken; a kid’s hair is set on fire; kids are getting concussions; kids’ arms are getting broken.
• There are more than 100 pages of felony case filings for this school year alone.
• Jefferson County busing managers say they know only a few kids cause problems, but they do nothing effective to deal with those students.
The really sad thing is that if busing for integration worked, with 40 years of busing now history in Jefferson County, there wouldn’t be any more need for the long rides. Minorities would have moved up into the middle class by now, and into the more prosperous neighborhoods, as well.
Instead, after two decades of KERA, West End schools in Louisville continue to seriously under-perform. And, instead of focusing on academic improvement – and spending money to make that happen – the district’s school leaders are just throwing dollars away on thousands of gallons of diesel fuel for buses that probably contribute more to student anxiety and dislike of school than to good student development.
It’s time for good people in Louisville to start putting real pressure on their teachers’ union controlled school board to take action. No business on the planet would continue pushing a failed experiment for forty years, and it’s time for citizens to demand something better from their school leaders.
If you know more stories about problems in Jefferson County’s buses, we’d like to hear them. You can submit these anonymously with the comment feature in this blog.