During the past school year, there were many, many times when transportation to school was not available for children on the Andover route. For my own purposes, the staff at GMUHS was not helpful at all.
In Vermont, there is a huge demographic of families in poverty, without cars, without money for gas.
Searching through the Department of Education rules, regulations, and policies, the only policy I could find, and the one I was referred to repeatedly, was one regarding transportation of homeless students.
I find it hard to believe that with all the rules there is no standing rule about the transportation of children to and from school. Nothing about school bus drivers, distance from bus stop, nothing. So, the transportation policy is a free-for-all. And no one is held accountable.
The supervisory union’s inability to hire and retain bus drivers is not a problem that should be shifted to the parents.
I’m positive that if children are enrolled in school but not attending regularly, that a social worker or a truancy officer would address this issue. Perhaps the school would even decide to charge a parent with educational neglect. Yet there are no supports for transporting students.
In a nutshell, the district expects the children to be at school especially since the schools are paid per attendance, there are surely line items in the taxes Andover residents pay to cover transportation costs, yet the service is not being provided.
I am pretty sure that this is stealing.
The TRSU is also not willing to reimburse Andover parents who drove their children during the multiple occasions of no bus service.
I am disgusted, disappointed, and frustrated. All I can see is the school’s agenda to keep the funds we pay in taxes for a service they failed to provide, and their requirement of students to be in school in order to collect the money for such. I see zero support for the parents or the community.
My personal recourse will be to keep voting down school budgets and to be as vocal as I can about the TRSU’s theft of services and funds.