BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — A community nonprofit is calling on the Board of Education to place safety first tonight when considering bus service cuts they say would put youngsters in jeopardy.
The board may vote on an idea to cut busing for children living between one and one-and-a-half miles from school at its regular public meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Bridgeport Regional Vocational Aquaculture Center, 60 St. Stephens Road.
FaithActs for Education believes the cut would impact more than 2,000 children.
“It is irresponsible and immoral to balance a budget by endangering children’s lives. It’s also unclear how much of their funding the Board of Education would even save by making these cuts,” the group wrote in a statement.
FaithActs members have publicly demanded that the busing distance for elementary students remain at one mile.
On Friday, group members protested the proposed cuts by walking to school with some of the students who would lose their busing services. Pastors and parents accompanied three first- and fifth-grade students from their homes on Wayne Street to Park City Magnet School on Chopsey Hill Road.
The trip took around 33 minutes. Members said the route took them through busy intersections, stepping over trash and broken bottles. One one-mile stretch had no sidewalks, they said.
City Council member Jeanette Herron, Board of Education member Dennis Bradley and Bridgeport Police officers joined the group.
At a FaithActs Community Forum with the Board of Education in November 2016, board members Joe Larcheveque, Howard Gardner, Annette Segarra-Negron, Ben Walker and Bradley – a quorum of the district’s governing body – committed to maintain a busing distance of one mile in order to protect children’s safety, according to FaithActs.
Members hope the issue, which has been publicly discussed twice, will be resolved tonight.