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DPS proposes having 7th and 8th grade students ride RTA buses

The district said putting more kids on RTA buses will help with the school bus driver shortage they have. (WKEF/WRGT)

DAYTON, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - Dayton Public Schools put on the second of four town hall meetings May 11 at Wogaman Middle School, hearing from frustrated parents about transportation issues.

Superintendent Rhonda Corr was escorted out by security at the end, after officers said she was being bombarded by parents.

FOX 45 is empowering parents to know about the districts proposal to put seventh and eighth-grade students on RTA bus is during the 2017-18 school year, as being discussed at the town halls.

At the first town hall Wednesday, district representative said some students would have to transfer through the downtown hub as part of the proposal, but it is not set in stone.

The district said putting more kids on RTA buses will help with the school bus driver shortage they have, but not all parents are on board with the idea.

"I mean they have two police officers down here now and they have security but they can't watch everything," said Ayanna Brown at the RTA hub.

Currently, only high school students within Dayton public schools rely on the RTA to get to and from school.

"The one thing I want to say about RTA is we don't have all of the answers just yet," said superintendent Corr outlining the proposal at Thursday's town hall.

"She's just not mature enough to be on an RTA bus, she's just coming out from elementary," said mom Kenyatta Monie, who spoke up during the meeting about her concerns. Monie is also a bus driver for DPS and said she understands all sides of the issue.

But Corr said they are proposing using public transit because the district is short 41 school bus drivers a day. She said even with the new three-tier bell system in place for next school year, they will still be short seven bus drivers per day.

"We simply do not have the capacity to transport not only the Dayton public children, but the charter children and the parochial children," Corr said after a slideshow outlying the proposal and reasons behind it.

DPS said by putting the proposal in place it would get rid of any shortage of school bus drivers, and would get kids to school on time consistently. It would also save the district $3 million.

"Some of the routes are already in place, routes that go to Stivers and they only carry students," the superintendent said.

But some students including the younger ones would still ride with the general public, causing parents to butt heads with the DPS administration multiple times during Thursday's meeting.

"We want to listen get some more input and based on this and put go back to the drawing board," said Dayton public school board member Adil Baguirov.

"I don't feel like it safe," said Ayanna Brown.

Corr said they did a "data dump" of addresses to the RTA over the weekend, and no RTA is figuring out if the routes will work and kids will be able to get to bus stops.

Stay with FOX 45 as the proposal moves forward.

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