Charter school parents band together for transportation solutions

Parent-organized transportation solutions | San Antonio Charter Moms

UPDATE: The parent-organized bus at Great Hearts Monte Vista will run in the morning AND the afternoon.

Charter schools can choose whether or not to offer transportation; see “Charter School Finance” at the Texas Education Agency.

KIPP San Antonio does offer bus transportation to students, at no charge, in several areas of San Antonio. Specific routes and stops are designed to serve students and use resources as efficiently as possible. KIPP San Antonio receives a small allotment of state funds and contracts with First Student to provide student bus transportation for daily routes, Summer School, Saturday School, and field trips. The picture above (and in this earlier post) shows a KIPP San Antonio bus near KIPP Esperanza.

BASIS San Antonio does not offer transportation, but last summer a group of parents banded together to contract for bus service with First Student. The parents who shared the bus program tell me that it was “a very positive experience” and “a God-send.”

As mentioned in this earlier postGreat Hearts Texas does not offer transportation. But, a group of parents is organizing a private bus group, and they are looking for more members. Organizer Jennifer Jones asked me to share this information:

If you live on the north side of town, bus service will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. Pick up will be in the Deerfield area (Blanco/Huebner/Bitters off 1604). Right now, the service is just for the morning commute, but if enough people are interested in afternoon, we can easily add that service. Pick up will be at 7:15 a.m. Elementary children will be dropped off first; middle school and high school next. We are using First Student Services, which is a national school bus transportation company. All drivers are licensed and background checked. I will be riding the bus the first week just to ensure quality and safety.

As of now, the price is $35 a month for one child, $60-$70 a month for a family (regardless of the number of children). Please note that these prices may vary depending on the number of people interested. We are being charged daily, but to make it easier on everyone, I’m multiplying that number by the number of days our children go to school and dividing by 10 (for the number of months) so everyone will pay a monthly fee.

Maybe someday in the future—e.g., if there are changes to the school finance system—more charter schools will choose to offer transportation services. In the meantime, parent-organized transportation groups, whether by carpool or by bus, are a smart solution.

sachartermoms

Parent-activist and education blogger in San Antonio, Texas, USA. Helping parents make informed school choices and explore cultural activities.

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