Wake County Superintendent Tony Tata is not ruling out the possibility of providing bus service to students who are losing transportation next year because they're entering a middle school or high schools that's not on their choice list.
As some posters have commented, the initial notice of assignment slips that went out last week for the new choice-based student assignment plan had some surprises. Some families with children entering middle school or high school in 2012-13 were told they wouldn't get bus service.
Wake has repeatedly assured families they can grandfather both their current school next year and their current feeder pattern.
But Wake is only guaranteeing transportation for grandfathered students if they're not changing schools. No guarantee of bus service exist If you're grandfathering into your current pattern for sixth- or ninth-grades..
if depends on whether the middle school or high school you're entering is among your choice options for your address. If yes, you get bus service. If not, no luck.
During Friday's news conference, I asked Tata how many families were not getting bus service next year because of this situation. He answered that he had asked the student assignment task force for that information.
Tata added though that “what you’re talking about is a very small number of parents and students.“
I followed up by asking Tata if there was a possibility of Wake making changes to provide any of the affected families with bus service. Here's Tata's response:
“We’ve been having discussions about the entire transportation system and whether or not we might be able to be far more efficient than we are now." Tata said. "We’re in some preliminary discussions about that with the transportation folks and there may be a way, based upon how if indeed we do overhaul the transportation system, to be more efficient and also to catch some of these folks.
...There may be an opportunity. I wouldn’t say yes and I wouldn’t say no now.”
How far the new school board majority is willing to go along with any overhaul in transportation remains to be seen.