Wake Ed

July 3, 2014

Wake County school board to review transportation for exceptional children

Wake County school board members say they will hold a work session to discuss transportation issues involving special-needs students and foster children.

Look for the Wake County school board to discuss this summer transportation issues involving special-needs students and foster children.

David Neter, Wake’s chief business officer, told board members at the June 17 work session that staff will come back over the summer with revisions to the district’s transportation policies. Since the policies are being updated, school board member Kevin Hill asked to also look at transportation services for foster children.

School board chairwoman Christine Kushner said Hill’s proposal was an “excellent suggestion.”

Kushner also suggested that the board review the transportation services provided to exceptional children. At the June 17 regular meeting, the school board approved $12.1 million in exceptional children’s transportation contracts with seven vendors.

Wake provides special transportation to more than 2,500 students a year who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) or 504 plan. Instead of riding a school bus, Wake contracts with private companies to send cars to drive those students.

Kushner said that even with the approval of the contracts she knows that several board members want to talk about how to improve service for exceptional children.

Over the year, parents of special-education students have complained about the service they’ve received from the vendors. In the most recent publicized case, ABC11 reported in June about a 5-year-old Wake Forest boy with Down syndrome who was dropped off miles from home by a contract bus driver.

Kushner said they can have a transportation work session to discuss both the foster children and exceptional children’s issues.

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The WakeEd blog is devoted to discussing and answering questions about the major issues facing the Wake County school system. WakeEd is maintained by The News & Observer's Wake schools reporter, T. Keung Hui.

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