Broward Parents Worried About Bus Routes

Due to a delay in mailing bus cards, parents flooded bus depots Saturday demanding answers

By Gilma Avalos
|  Sunday, Aug 19, 2012  |  Updated 10:00 AM EDT
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Due to a delay in mailing bus cards, parents flooded bus depots Saturday demanding answers and wondering whether their children would have a ride to school come Monday.

Due to a delay in mailing bus cards, parents flooded bus depots Saturday demanding answers and wondering whether their children would have a ride to school come Monday.

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The line of parents and children wrapped around parked school buses at a Pompano Beach bus depot. Parents crowded under umbrellas to escape the heat. Some took shelter inside air-conditioned school buses. A few children wailed, growing impatient with the wait and hot temperatures.

On Saturday morning, parents who had not yet received bus cards with information about their children's bus routes next year, showed up to an annual transportation meeting with several unanswered questions.

"If I go inside and they tell me no, I don't know how my son is going to school Monday because I go to work. School starts at 9:30 and I don't have a back-up plan," said Elaine. She had been waiting in line for several hours to find out her son's fate.

Tracy Clark, a representative for Broward County Public Schools told NBC 6, parents had not received bus cards because there was a delay mailing them out. The crowds at the bus terminal included a mix of parents who simply had not received those cards and those who will find out they are not eligible to receive transportation because of the "two-mile" rule. According to Broward County Public School rules, transportation is provided for those living more than two miles away from school.

"I hope I get the transportation pass," said Mike Nielsen.

Nielsen, a single dad, says his kids had a bus route last year. He worries about not having one again this year.

"I don't know what arrangements I'll make, I really don't," said Nielsen.

Some parents say they have been preparing for school for months and can't understand how Broward Schools are still sorting out these issues the weekend before school starts.

"I can't believe they let us know a day ahead of time that there's no school bus service. My son is autistic, he's 4 years old. This is just unacceptable," said Carmen Valcho.

Parents who are still sorting out transportation concerns are expected to return to the bus depots on Sunday. All locations will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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