State Bill to Help Disabled Pupils Safely Get to Class

Offers Transit Options To Parents

State Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo recently voted in the Senate Education Committee to approve legislation that would enable parents who are physically disabled, and whose kids live close enough to walk to school, to obtain bus service for their children if they are unable to drive them, accompany them, or otherwise ensure that students arrive safely at their classrooms.

“Under state law, school bus transportation does not need to be provided to children from kindergarten through eighth grade if they live within two miles of their school, or to high school students if their home is within three miles of their school building,” noted Addabbo, who was recently reappointed to the Senate Education Committee.

“In these cases,” he continued, “most kids either get a ride to school from their parents, or may walk to their school if they have adult supervision to keep them safe from harm. However, if a child’s parents are physically disabled, and cannot drive or accompany the child to school, something needs to be done to help the family out and make sure that students get to classes safely.”

Under the legislation (S.738), school districts could agree to provide transportation to the children of physically disabled parents or guardians on a case-by-case basis, even if they live close enough to the school that they would ordinarily be ineligible for bus service.

In order to provide service, the school district would require proof of the physical disability from the parent or guardian.

“This set of circumstances may not be common, but providing reasonable and responsive assistance to families living with physical disabilities is still very important,” said Addabbo. “Every child deserves a chance to go to school, and to get there safely, and all parents deserve the peace of mind that their children are able to get an education without falling prey to harm on the way to their classrooms.”

The legislation, which Addabbo voted to approve in the Senate Education Committee, is now under consideration by the Senate Committee on Finance. The senator stated there are a number of other proposed bills dealing with school transportation that he is considering.

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