Students On City Buses A Poorly Executed Plan

Dear Editor,

I am writing in response to the recent decision by the superintendent of Guilford County Schools (GCS) to replace bus transportation by the district with city buses for select high schools.  I thought it was a feasible idea.  The city buses need ridership and the schools were in need of buses with drivers.  Many large cities utilize city transportation services for students, many younger than high schoolers.

The problem lies in the execution of the plan.  First, one would need to analyze the feasibility of getting students to bus stops from their homes and make sure there are bus routes that run to the schools.  Perhaps some modifications would need to be made to the bus routes by the city. That would be easy enough based on the benefit to the city transport system in increased ridership.   The district would also want to know how many students a change of this magnitude would impact.

Then you run the plan by the Board of Education, as they are responsible to the taxpayers to oversee what happens in the schools.  I know the superintendent has control over day-to-day operations but a change like this is not really standard operating process.

You then work to sell the parents and the students on the concept in an open, transparent manner.

What you don’t do is drop the plan in the parent’s lap on Friday afternoon for a Monday morning implementation without a discussion by the Board of Education.  That is exactly what was done on Jan. 7 by Guilford County Schools.

This situation is a prime example of lack of leadership with GCS.  A superintendent who is supposed to be the employee of the Board of Education putting such an extensive plan into place without even consulting the board or acknowledging student families is the reason there is such chaos in our schools.  This was a manufactured emergency that could have been a wonderful opportunity for the BOE, superintendent and GCS families to work together with the cities to being a solution to an issue they all faced.

Selena Kelley