October 1, 2018
CCC strongly supports the legislation under consideration which would require the Department of Education (DOE) to report on the policies, procedures and practices of the Office of Pupil Transportation including average pupil transportation times, school bus drivers and attendants, investigations, and services, as well as the creation and distribution of a School Bus Bill of Rights.
As the DOE and the City Council move forward with efforts to increase transparency in and strengthen the school transportation system, we echo recommendations made by our colleagues at Advocates for Children asking that the reports resulting from these bills be required to disaggregate information specific to different student populations, including children living in shelters and children in foster care, in addition to students with disabilities. We also recommend that the City Council and the DOE take additional steps to ensure that the needs of the most vulnerable students, including children living in homeless shelters, children in foster care, and children with disabilities, are addressed.
As you may be aware, CCC is a co-convener of the Family Homelessness Coalition, a coalition representing service providers, housing providers, children’s organizations, and advocacy organizations, working to advance a coordinated, multi-agency, collaborative effort in New York City focused on the needs of homeless children and their families to prevent homelessness where possible, improve the well-being of children and families in shelter, and support the long-term stability of children and families who leave shelter.
We therefore support recommendations that would increase coordination among City agencies that play a role in facilitating transportation options for students living in shelters, including the creation of an interagency task force to address the barriers to attendance at school and after-school programs, as proposed in Int. 150-2018 sponsored by Council Member Levin. We also encourage the Administration to create a protocol to facilitate coordination between the DOE and the Human Resources Administration (HRA) to streamline the provision of bus service for students living in domestic violence shelters.