Assemblyman Goldfeder Passes Legislation Enabling New York City Department of Education to Restore Bus Service to 7th and 8th Grade School Children

April 2, 2012
Assemblyman Phillip Goldfeder (D-Rockaway) announced that legislation he sponsored has passed both the Assembly and Senate. This legislation would exempt New York City from the “Like Circumstances” clause of the New York State Education law (A.8683), with regard to 7th and 8th grade yellow school busing that was previously provided to students. This exemption would allow the New York City Department of Education to restore busing service for 7th and 8th grade general education students.

“In Southern Queens and Rockaway, transportation options are severely limited and our kids should not have to suffer the consequence.” said Assemblyman Goldfeder. “Yellow bus service is not a luxury but rather a necessity for the children in our community. This legislation removes all barriers and gives the Department of Education the tools they need to provide this essential service.”

The New York City Department of Education typically only provides school bus service to students through sixth grade; however, they have had the power to grant variances to seventh and eighth grade students. Over the past 18 years, variances have been granted to 70 schools where the options with respect to public transportation are limited, including seventh and eighth graders. In September of 2009, the New York City Department of Education revoked a variance that allowed 7th and 8th graders to be eligible for yellow school bus service. This decision affected 4,600 general education students at public and non-public schools city-wide.

"I applaud Assemblymember Goldfeder for his support of this legislation, which is a critical step towards restoring yellow school bus service for 7th and 8th graders in Broad Channel and the Rockaways,” said Councilman Ulrich. “I am again calling upon the New York City Department of Education to restore this important service which will help keep our students safe on their way to and from school, especially in areas which are far from and underserved by public transportation."

“Cost saving measures cannot take priority over the safety and well being of our children,” Assemblyman Goldfeder said. “I urge Chancellor Walcott and Mayor Bloomberg to restore school bus service to ensure that our children are kept safe as they travel to and from school.”