Parents concerned over potential reduction in transportation mileage
Brewster, N.Y.– 3/13/2012– Senator Greg Ball’s (R, C – Patterson) will visit Kennedy Catholic on March 15th at 7 p.m. to talk with concerned parents about a potential reduction in transportation mileage.
Currently, section 3635 of New York State Education Law requires public school districts to provide transportation to non-public students residing within that district. However, the school must be within a 15-mile radius of their home.
“The families that choose to send their children to parochial school are still paying school taxes and this busing is one of the few tangible benefits they receive,” Senator Ball said. “If this proposal becomes a reality, the state of New York will once again be unfairly targeting those parents who are merely attempting to provide their children with expanded opportunities and a great education. The assault on our families, Catholic families in particular, must end and common sense must prevail.”
The Lower Hudson Council of School Superintendents, in a December 2011 position paper, recommended either state funding of private school, out-of-district transportation, or a reduction of mileage limits from 15 to 5 miles. Other considerations include a freeze and review of all current mandates to identify proper funding sources, as well as a consolidation of services.
“Make no mistake,” said the Rev. Mark Vaillancourt, president/principal of Kennedy Catholic, “this would mean that your home district would no longer be obligated to provide transportation for your son or daughter to Kennedy, or any other Catholic school, beyond those 5 miles.”
There is presently a bill before the state senate that would increase the maximum mileage limit for non-public school busing from 15 to 25 miles. First introduced in January 2011, Bill No. S2404 would take effect the July after which it is enacted into law.
“The current law is a mandate for both public and non-public school students,” Kennedy parent and Mahopac resident Terry Rofrano said. “It would be discriminatory to change the law to a 5-mile radius for non-public students and keep a 15-mile radius for public school students.”
For more information or to speak with Senator Ball, contact Brittany Oat (845) 200-9716.