That seems to be the motto of the JCPS administration-- where putting kids on buses in the pursuit of racial diversity is really important. One can't say whether it's more important than the quality of the education provided, but it's obvious that it's important given the resources devoted to this goal-- both in what's extracted from taxpayers and what's imposed on parents and children.
Here's the primary article in the C-J (by Antoinette Kunz) preceding the start of school this Fall. It has some amazing statistics and factoids:
-"They desperately hope the many changes they've put into place will prevent the problems that kept some elementary students from getting home [during the first week last year]...400 children getting home after 6 p.m., with some still on buses as late as 9 p.m."
-"930 school buses will hit the road as early as 5 a.m. to transport approximately 66,000 of the district's 101,000 students."
-"Those buses will be equipped with new radios that have channels programmed exclusively to each bus compound, cutting down on communication confusion. The district spent $1.2 million on the radios earlier this year..."
-" a new JCPS bus hotline...so parents can get the information they need before sending their children to the bus stop Monday...manned by about 10 staff members..."
-"...also providing 200 additional staff members at the district's 20 elementary bus depots to help 'ensure the children get on and off the right buses'..."
-"at every elementary school, bus riders will have luggage tags attached to their backpacks, with labels that designate the child's name, bus number and bus stop.The luggage tags, which cost the district $16,000..."
-"...asking parents to be patient on the first day, but he said he hopes to have all the students back home by 6:30 p.m. Eventually, he said, all elementary students will be delivered home by 5:30 p.m..."
Here are more data from the latest editorial from the C-J'ers on the "busing tango"-- a nice term, except that it's more like police chasing those who want to break regulations instead of "it takes two/partners to tango".
-"...elementary student bus runs over 75 minutes now have been eliminated for the first time. The percentage of students riding between 60 and 70 minutes has been cut by two thirds to 2.8 percent (a total of 832 students) since the 2008-09 school year, the last one before the current assignment plan. The average elementary ride time is 29.2 minutes."
Those numbers are amazing enough, but the editorialists seem excited by an *average* bus ride of 30 minutes each way.
JCPS is 16th in the country in terms of students transported daily, but 8th in miles driven. Among larger cities, Louisville is 3rd in terms of miles per bus (behind Chicago and Charlotte).
They're good at driving kids around on buses. If only they were half that good at educating them...