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New system leads to school bus concerns

Posted at 5:37 PM, Sep 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-03 07:32:45-04

CORPUS CHRISTI, Tx. — A new bus policy for some Corpus Christi ISD students has parents concerned about safety and other issues.

"My son has not been wanting to go on the bus, because there's three to four to a seat," Jennifer Hagedorn said. "There's kids sitting on the floor [of the bus]."

Hagedorn said the buses are overcrowded, and it's because of the "hub system" that CCISD put in place this school year for children who are in school-of-choice programs rather than the schools in their neighborhoods. Those kids must be picked up and dropped off at designated hub schools in order to ride the bus to the schools they actually attend. Hagedorn says that's a burden on working parents.

"A lot of parents really rely on the buses to drop off in neighborhoods so their kids can walk home," she said. "Most parents don't get off at 3:00 or 4:00, or even can be home by 5:00."

CCISD sent a letter home to parents such as Hagedorn before the school year started saying they went to the hub system "to create the most efficient routes using the staffing we have available." The letter also said that while they heavily publicized job openings for bus drivers, they still require 30 more drivers to fill all routes.

Parents of other school-of-choice students say they're disappointed that their high-achieving kids are being subjected to the hub system. Parent Paul Kennedy points out that such students had to earn their way into the program.

"These children test into this school," he said. "You have these brand new schools, but you don't have enough buses for the kids to go to them."

CCISD replied to KRIS 6 News with a statement when asked about school bus overcrowding for school-of-choice students.

"The Office of Transportation has been monitoring and adjusting routes as needed, based on ridership, road construction, and traffic." the statement read. "They will continue to do so as needed.