Senator Andrew Lanza (R-Staten Island) introduced legislation today to require the Department of Education in the City of New York to provide school bus service for students in grades kindergarten through six who live one-half mile or more away from their school.
Currently, only young students (5-7 year olds) in grades K-2 are subject to the New York City Board of Education bussing distance requirement of one-half mile or more. This legislation would expand the one-half mile requirement, in statute, to grades K-6 (5-11 year olds).
"This law would remove the uncertainty presently existing with regard to the City’s responsibility to provide bus service to our school children," said Senator Lanza. Senator Lanza further said, "Parents should not have to worry about whether their children will be provided transportation in a safe manner, they should be able to count on it. This law would allow to do just that."
Presently, school bus service is provided on the basis of regulation alone, not law. Therefore, school bus service is not mandated. This law would mandate such service.
It should be noted that Senator Lanza submitted identical legislation in the New York City Council more than one year ago which Council Democrats failed to even consider.
Assemblyman Vincent Ignizio (R-Staten Island) has agreed to sponsor the legislation in the Assembly. "Our proposal would ease the confusion surrounding the current school bus situation in New York City by requiring the department to provide bus service for K-6 students in a safe and efficient manner," said Assemblyman Ignizio.
The bill will be referred to the Education Committees in the Senate and Assembly.