Milton School Committee to hold meeting for bus-waitlisted students on August 14

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Parents of students on the bus transportation wait list were sent the following email:

Milton School Committee to hold meeting for bus-waitlisted students on August 14

The Milton School Committee cordially invites all parents/guardians with students on the transportation wait list for the 2019-2020 school year to a meeting on August 14, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the Milton High School Library.

A Q&A has been created that may address some of your concerns regarding transportation.

We hope you are able to join us.

Milton Public Schools Transportation Q&A:

Do public schools have to provide transportation?

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 71, Section 68 requires free public transportation for students only if they are in grades K-6 and only if they live more than two miles from the school they are entitled to attend. The Milton Public Schools adheres to this policy and provides (free) busing for the students covered above and offers the additional seats to students on a first-come, first-served basis for a fee of $275 per student with a family cap of $550.

Can the Milton Public Schools contract another bus to serve students on the waitlist?

Unfortunately, no we cannot. Contracting additional buses is not possible financially as each bus would bring in $14,000 in fees. However, the bus would cost $71,000 per our contract with First Student.

Why doesn’t bus registration close when buses are full?

Not all buses/routes fill at the same time. There are open seats on some buses/routes throughout the year. We cannot close registration for individual routes because individual routes are not finalized until we know how many parents/guardians are requesting ridership for their child(ren).

Do all the waitlisted Pierce and MHS students live in one general location?

No. Nine of the ten Pierce/MHS buses have waitlists ranging from 4-22 students.

Does the Milton Public Schools subsidize busing?

Yes, but only for students who are entitled to a bus seat by law. MPS contracts enough buses to service K-6 students who live more than 2 miles from their school. We then offer remaining seats for a fee.

Why did one child in a family get a bus seat and a sibling registered at the same time on the same bus not get a seat?

In this example, the 6th grader is entitled to a seat by law, but the older sibling(s) are not and are in the regular, first-come, first-served bus registration queue.

If parents/guardians register their child(ren) before the deadline, why didn’t their child(ren) get a seat?

Once the deadline passed, we placed all the 6th graders who are entitled by law to ride and then went back and filled the remaining seats on a first-come, first-served basis.

Could the Milton Public Schools charge more for bus seats?

The fee of $275 was voted on by the Milton School Committee as a reasonable charge for bus service.

Does the Milton Public Schools expect to have seats for everyone who wants them in the future?

This would only happen if the Milton School Committee changes its policy. Doing so would incur considerable cost which would have to be funded at the expense of other programs.

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