Chicago alderpeople request reinstatement of CPS busing, stipend amidst drive shortage

CHICAGO — More than half of Chicago’s City Council members are urging Chicago Public Schools to reinstate busing or provide financial help for parents to get students to and from school.

The Parents for Buses Coalition has fought the cancellation of the bus service since August.
Weeks before the start of the school year, CPS announced the cuts due to a national bus driver shortage.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Impact of CPS bus shortage felt citywide

In a letter to CPS on Wednesday, 27 alderpersons requested that busing be reinstated or that a transportation stipend be offered to parents, arguing that 85% of students affected come from low-income homes:

We are contacting you regarding the lack of transportation and financial relief for a number of our constituents in the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 20th, 22nd, 25th, 26th, 30th, 31st, 32nd, 33rd, 34th, 35th, 36th, 37th, 39th, 40th, 43rd, 46th, 47th, 48th, and 49th Wards. CPS’s recent decision to cancel busing for students in magnet and selective enrollment schools has caused hardship to many of the families we represent. Especially concerning is that 85% of affected students reside in low-income households. Many of these students also hail from Black and brown families. Without busing, these families are struggling to adjust work schedules, student activities, and budgets to get their kids to their school and friends.”

Portion of the letter signed by 27 of Chicago’s alderpeople sent to CPS Board of Education

WGN Investigates: Investigating public corruption, crime & fraud

CPS has said that recent budget issues make it challenging to offer stipends.

Meanwhile, the bus driver shortage is expected to continue into next year, thus amplifying a sticky issue for thousands of families. CPS is legally mandated to provide transportation for special education students, but not for anyone attending magnet or selective enrollment programs.

Read more: Latest Chicago news headline

As previously reported by WGN Investigates, bus vendors contacted by WGN Investigates said they have available drivers but were turned down by CPS because of the cost.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to WGN-TV.