The Austintown school board deserves all of the ballyhoo and criticism it is receiving for its insane plan to transport elementary students by WRTA buses to parochial schools outside the township. Basically, students as young as 5 would get on a WRTA bus, ride to the Federal St. station, hang out unsupervised for 35 minutes, transfer to a second bus and get dropped off a mile from their school to which they would then walk.
I am not posting this to debate the merits of the plan. There are none. It's ridiculous and clearly a feint to get the Catholic schools to provide funding for transportation or to get parents to transport children themselves.
My concern is that the students of Austintown are attending a school system lead by people who think this is a good idea. How damaging is it to their reputation to release a plan like this? They didn't consult the Catholic schools and they didn't contact the WRTA (who came up with a better plan almost immediately, to their credit). They aren't taking interviews and they aren't addressing the plan except to say it gets the kids to school on time.
This isn't leadership. This is straight up hucksterism masquerading as a bureaucracy "following the rules". The goal is to get the students to school safely, not give them a bus pass and wish them luck.
I hope these school board members aren't looking for re-election because if they think this is a good idea, who knows what other brain farts they're capable of.
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