Assemblyman Michael Simanowitz (D-Flushing) announced today the passage of Assembly Bill (A. 8683b), the school busing bill, which allows the NYC Department of Education (DOE) to restore yellow school bus variances for College Point seventh and eighth graders who, due to a federal court ruling, lost this service.
Simanowitz, a prime sponsor of the legislation, met with parents of Junior High School 185 and 194 in College Point immediately after his election to the State Assembly in September 2011 and was appalled to learn that seventh and eighth grade students lost much needed yellow busing. The children are now forced to take two or three MTA buses, and cross extremely congested intersections to get to and from school each day. This was initiated by a federal court ruling causing the NYC DOE to remove its variances for the children’s yellow school bus transportation for the seventh and eighth grade. The removal of the variances also caused undue hardship for parents who had sixth graders using the bus service, but their seventh and eighth graders had to fend for themselves.
When voting for the bill this afternoon, Simanowitz related to his colleagues the pleas of one mother whose sixth-grade son is being picked up by the school bus at 7:15 a.m., while her eighth grade daughter has to leave the house almost an hour earlier to make it to school on time.
“It boggles the mind to see nearly-empty school buses operating along their normal routes in College Point when children can use them to get safely to school,” said Simanowitz. “This legislation brings a common sense solution to the plight of College Point students. “
This legislation, which is expected to pass the Senate today, will go into effect at the beginning of the school year. It will also restore service for students in parts of Brooklyn and Staten Island.
The legislation, which will go into effect at the beginning of the school year, will also restore service for students in Staten Island and parts of Brooklyn.
“I am pleased that my colleagues in the Assembly have stepped up to speak for the hundreds of young school children in the College Point neighborhood of my district,” said Simanowitz. “The court’s decision left countless families scrambling to find adequate transportation alternatives with little or no warning. Thank you to Speaker Silver, Assemblyman Michael Cusick of Staten Island, Assembly Education Chair Cathy Nolan, Mayor Bloomberg and Chancellor Walcott for recognizing the seriousness of the situation and for working together to insure the safety of our school children.”