Albemarle County Public Schools (ACPS) are in a transportation bind.
As previously announced, bus service for ACPS students will be severely curtailed this year due to an ongoing and unrectified driver shortage. Following a parent survey, the route-cutting decisions have been finalized and now parents are receiving notice—only about two weeks shy of schools’ first day, August 23.
A communication sent to parents on August 7 (see below) by Charmane White, ACPS Transportation Director, details the basis on which transportation decisions were made.
Prioritized by ACPS are:
- Economically disadvantaged
- English learners
- Special Education
Conversely, those discriminated against by ACPS logically would include:
- Academically successful
- Middle-class or higher economically
- Native English speakers
- Housed students
Likely outcomes of Albemarle County Public Schools’ inability to move all requesting students from home-to-school-and-back are:
- Increased morning and afternoon traffic on public roads and specifically around schools
- Significantly greater greenhouse gas emissions
- Lower average daily attendance as parents struggle to find transportation alternatives
- Greater long-term out-migration of public-school students to private- or home- schools
- Escalated late-arrivals
- Scattered arrival times
- Nearly impossible coordination for parents driving multiple students to various schools—sometimes at great distance from one another
- Decreased student safety
Perpetual woke initiatives and poor working-conditions for ACPS bus drivers have contributed extensively to the division’s recruitment issues. While Superintendent Matt Haas and his underlings are unlikely to remedy any of those self-created problems, parents certainly will bear the burden of extreme ACPS mismanagement and institutional folly.
Read the full memo from ACPS Transportation Director, Charmane White, to parents who will lose bus service for their children:
From: Albemarle County Public Schools
Dear Parent or Guardian:
This is an important message from Transportation Services.
As we explained in our July 31 Transportation Update, we have been working hard to finalize our bus routes for the new school year and implement solutions that will help us improve on-time transportation for as many students as possible. Despite our many efforts to recruit new bus drivers, including increasing starting pay to $22.58 per hour, we still face a driver shortage. Unfortunately, at this time, we do not have enough drivers to provide transportation to every student who needs it.
I am writing to inform you that we cannot assign xxx to a bus route for the 2023-24 school year. You must provide transportation for xxx to and from school or seek alternative transportation arrangements, such as carpooling.
We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience. Several factors guided our decision-making as we worked to design bus routes that would serve the majority of students who requested bus service at each school. For example, by federal law, we must provide transportation to homeless students and some special education students. Also, we worked to prioritize bus routes that serve high percentages of students most at risk of lower academic achievement, including special education students, students from economically disadvantaged households, and English Learners.
We are committed to meeting the transportation needs of all students, and we will continue working tirelessly to attract, hire and retain bus drivers. We will let you know if a bus driver becomes available to serve your neighborhood.
Thank you for your partnership,
Director of Transportation