Only 1 parent shows up to discuss South Bend school bus issues despite frustration, outrage

Updated: May. 12, 2021 at 11:23 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Wednesday night the South Bend Community School Corporation hosted a meeting to discuss late school buses and the bus driver shortage.

Despite ongoing frustration from parents, only one showed up for the public forum.

“Me as a parent, I absolutely understand even my son’s bus is kind of delayed at times, but I give credit to the South Bend Community School Corporation and board for the communication,” says a SBCSC parent.

LaToya King, director of transportation for the district, said she understands peoples’ concerns. She has a child in South Bend Schools.

“I just want to let the community know that we feel the pain as well. That’s why we’ve been working tirelessly to make these changes, to get the changes approved through our board. We’ve had a lot of support so far,” she said.

“It’s going to take a collaborative effort with the community to be able to fill these slots. To get the buses rolling,” said the parent.

Right now the district has about 145 bus drivers, and needs to hire 20-25 more to be fully staffed.

It has been difficult to fill these positions, as the district is competing with unemployment checks.

The district is trying to find solutions to address the issue, like changing bell times, collaborating with Transpo, expanding walk zones and creating a high school hybrid shuttle system.

“And we are just hoping that hopefully when we put this before the board that they agree to our proposal...Have our community inclusive on the decisions that are made, so this is why we are having the meetings and the public forums. We are also hosting virtual groups for our parents, for our community and administrators. We are having these tough conversations because we want change,” King said.

King said she is optimistic about the future.

“I am very excited to lead this challenge. I am very optimistic that we will bring change and we will rebrand South Bend Schools transportation.”

The last public forum is May 19.

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