Richmond Schools Proposing Lottery System for Overcrowded Buses - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Richmond Schools Proposing Lottery System for Overcrowded Buses

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Some students are getting on a bus route they're not assigned to and that could take a seat away from someone who is supposed to be on the bus. Some students are getting on a bus route they're not assigned to and that could take a seat away from someone who is supposed to be on the bus.
RICHMOND (WRIC) - Richmond school officials are looking at a possible solution to bus overcrowding. Instead of getting more buses, it is proposing a lottery system.

This would mostly affect students who to go to a school outside of their zone. Right now, the school system says some of those students are getting on a bus route they're not assigned to and that could take a seat away from someone who is supposed to be on the bus.

School board members know this problem isn't easy to fix.  

"In a perfect world, we'd have enough buses and a routing system where students could get to the school they want to get to," says Jeff Bourne of the Richmond School Board.

Unfortunately, simply adding more buses isn't in the cards due to the expense so the school board proposed looking at a lottery system where students going to a school outside of their zone through open enrollment could have a chance to get a bus to school.

Currently, many of them don't have that option.

"We continue to wrestle with those issues and figure out if we have students on buses they shouldn't be on."

The lottery could end up being "weighted," where a student may have a better chance of getting a seat if they need it more than another. For example if they have two working parents who leave early in the morning.

The other issue is safety and making sure every student who is on a bus is accounted for.

"We want kids to get to school," Bourne says. "We want them to be safe. A big piece of that safety is knowing who is on the buses in case something happens. We have to be able to notify a parent."

This would only affect students who are in open enrollment.

If a student goes to a school in their assigned zone, they will have a seat on the bus.

A lottery will not take place until the 2015-16 School Year at the earliest.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond


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