by Jon Sanders
Director of the Center for Food, Power, and Life, Research Editor | John Locke Foundation
What an unforeseeable nightmare:
Wake County schools officials said Wednesday that problems with back-to-school busing are improving, but a bus driver in Wake County said some of the routes are impossible to complete.
Spencer Jenkins, who has been driving a bus for Wake County for more than 10 years, said his six-stop route in 2011 ballooned to 20 at the beginning of the school year.
“First couple of days are always rough,” he said. “But I will say this, this is the worst I’ve ever seen it.”
Jenkins, who gets his driving orders from a computer printout generated by the district’s transportation department, said his afternoon route is the hardest to handle logistically.
“Everything looks good on paper, but when you actually go out and run it, it’s totally different,” he said.
On Tuesday, Jenkins said he didn’t arrive at Hunter Elementary School until 4:50 p.m., more than an hour after it dismisses. The last child on Jenkins’ bus didn’t make it home until 5:45 p.m.
And this was supposed to be the Year of School Busing Efficiency!
All we had to do — we in the Wake County School System, that is, who are duty-bound to screw with at least one thing per year to overthrow parents’ schedules and let them know who’s boss (hey, you know what we say: “If you complain, you’re a racist“™) — was dramatically change school schedules and put kids getting to school sometimes an hour later (you parents who drop your kids off at school can work it out with your jobs; nothing will change according to our calculations) and therefore an hour later (which someone might say would push buses into 5 o’clock traffic, but nothing will change according to our calculations), while using fewer buses.
Victims of circumstance, that’s what we are.