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Reconsider daycare busing

February 24, 2010 - Dear Editor:

(In response to, "Home school busing only; privatizing considered by district," The Citizen, Feb. 20, page 1)

I was at the last two public hearings where school transportation was discussed. There are several points that I feel need to be made.

First, I would like to thank Debbie Schummer for her 'no' vote on the busing issue. She was the only boardmember at the public meetings who actually appeared to be listening to the people she was elected to represent. I, and several other parents, asked for the daycare busing to be considered separately from the home school busing only issue.

(We want a bus dedicated to day-care for all three schools and the day-cares would pay a fee.)

When it was pointed out people may have to leave the district due to daycare issues (I counted 5 at the meetings), we received responses from "no one will leave," to "people would rather have a hockey team than transportation." I also only heard one boardmember say she had children attending Brandon schools. I will remember that next time I vote.

Second, the data reported for day-care busing is inaccurate. Belle Ann students will be transported to Stepping Stone and Harvey Swanson to Ortonville Montessori. Unfortunately, Oakwood will have no busing to the daycares, which brings me to my main concern.

There are about 20 students at Oakwood who attend either Stepping Stone or the Montessori. These young kids will have no way to get to their daycares. Oakwood does not offer latchkey, so parents will have to find private daycare, change their jobs to accommodate the school schedule, or find a daycare that has busing to and from school. The director of Stepping Stone told the board she called all licensed home daycares in Ortonville and only one had an opening. We all know about the economy and job situation. There are daycares in surrounding communities that have buses to and from their facilities.

The math for a separate bus supports our request. I have rounded the numbers for ease. I would be happy to show the board calculations regarding the buses.

Please contact boardmembers and ask them to reconsider daycare busing.

Candy Johnston

Parent of Belle Ann,

Stepping Stone kindergartner

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