Atlanta Public Schools started enforcing a rule this week that has been on the books for years: If children live close to their school, they don't get bus service.
But parents who live in neighborhoods filled with abandoned homes, railroad tracks and busy traffic said the move would put their children in danger. Parents like Travie Andrews got together Thursday night to come up with a plan.
"It terrifies me," Andrews said. "My daughter is 8, my son is 6. They are in no way equipped to handle any situation that they may encounter within a major intersection or three blocks. They're not. Not unattended."
She said she has to be at work before the children start school and is often at work late while the children are at home. Her mother, Travie Leslie, said the APS decision to begin enforcing this walk limit policy is ill-advised.
"No one thought about this particular neighborhood and its special problems over here," Leslie said.
The APS policy states that elementary school students who live less than one mile from school, as well as middle and high school students who live less than 1 1/2 miles from school, are no longer eligible for bus service.
APS spokesman Keith Bromery said on Thursday that the district did not have figures on how much money these cuts to bus service would save the district.
"The enforcement of the existing walk limit policy results from a desire to make pupil transportation more efficient and cost effective," Bromery said. "Thus, there are no cost-saving goals per se and no calculations to date of any resultant budget savings. "
CBS Atlanta's Sonia Moghe spoke to Board of Education member Brenda Muhammad on her way to the parents' meeting. She does not represent their district, but said she wanted to hear their feedback and also wanted to see statistics from APS about how much money will be saved with this measure to see if it is worth it.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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