The looming school bus strike will happen in only a matter of time, according to a report by the New York Daily News.
“It’s not a matter of if it will happen, but when it will happen,” Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott, the city’s top education official, told the Daily News.
The strike, which could begin as early as Wednesday, would leave 152,000 children without a ride to school.
The conflict between the city and the bus drivers union emerged after the city announced a plan that would add 1,000 new routes, with new operators, to cover special-education students. The drivers want a guarantee that they will get to keep their jobs, even with new operators chosen.
There is an intense legal debate brewing between the city and the union over the legality of the strike, but all signs point to a work stoppage.
Should the expected strike commence, the Department of Education summarized the resources available to parents and guardians.
- All students who currently receive yellow bus service may receive a MetroCard. MetroCards should be requested through the school’s general office. The DOE has informed the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that it may need to accommodate additional riders.
- Parents of pre-school and school-age children with Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) and require transportation from their home directly to their school, as well as parents of general education children in grades K-2, may also request a MetroCard to escort their children to school.
- Parents of children who receive busing from their home or are in K-6 and do not live in areas where public transportation between home and school is available, may request reimbursement for transportation costs. Parents who drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of 55 cents per mile. Parents who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for the trip upon completion of reimbursement forms that includes a receipt for provided services. Requests for reimbursements should be made weekly on forms that will be available on the DOE web site, www.schools.nyc.gov, and in schools’ general offices. Families who plan to drive or use a car service to carpool are encouraged to carpool with their neighbors whenever possible.
- In the unfortunate event that students cannot get to school, the Department will be posting materials online for every grade and core subject so that students can continue their learning at home during the strike.
The DOE will continue to update New Yorkers about the potential strike and will post new information on schools.nyc.gov. Information will also be available at 311.