Boston Re-Opens School Busing Debate
7 months ago
Almost 40 years after court-ordered busing led to citywide violence, Boston looks to change busing for a new reason
The city of Boston is working to change the way it buses children to school and reduce busing in a school system that is now made up largely of minority students.
Court-ordered busing ended in the city more than two decades ago, and only 13 percent of students in the public schools today are white, but the school district buses 64 percent of its K-8 students to schools outside their immediate neighborhoods.
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In January, Mayor Thomas M. Menino asked school officials to come up with “a radically different plan” under which students would be assigned to schools as close to home as possible, according to the New York Times. Right now busing is controlled by a computer system that does not take race into account. That has caused some kids on the same block to attend different schools and the mayor and others argue that it keeps neighborhoods from investing in local schools. Many students travel so far that transportation alone costs the city $80.4 million a year, which is close to 10 percent of the school system’s operating budget and almost twice the national average.