Thursday, December 1, 2011

OJCPSB: Occupy JCPS Buses

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 hot­ 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...


At January 10, 2012 at 12:18 PM , Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

JCPS continues to focus and specialize in buses and busing.

It's obviously far more important to them than education.

Here, they would spend about $70,000 more per bus to save about $2,500 per year in fuel.


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