Senator Golden: Students Of K-6 Should Be Guaranteed School Bus Transportation

Martin J. Golden

February 19, 2007

Brooklyn- State Senator Martin J. Golden (R-Brooklyn) is announcing that he has co-sponsored legislation that will 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).

“It is our responsibility to insure that for New York families, we will allow for students to get to and from school safely so that parents and families do not have to worry,” said Senator Marty Golden. “This law would remove the uncertainty presently existing with regard to the City’s responsibility to provide bus service to our school children.”

Senator Golden continued, “It is my belief that students of the third, fourth, fifth and sixth grades should be given the opportunity to receive bus service provided by the Department of Education. To suggest public transportation for these students is unreasonable. Not all families can travel with their children to school, and as a result, students would be forced to travel on buses and subways alone at such a young age. We need to change this for New York’s families.”

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.

Assemblyman Vincent Ignizio (R-Staten Island) will 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.