Recently, some of you have asked me about the Board’s policy regarding magnet transportation. Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion about what is Board policy and what has been administrative practice. Additionally, your board member-elect, Mr. Orson, has sent out correspondence indicating that it is Board policy that is problematic and I could provide assistance by simple getting the board to address this issue.
I am surprised that Mr. Orson would be confused about this matter. He was in attendance at the Board meeting where we discussed this issue. He was reading a book through most of the meeting so perhaps he didn’t hear all of the discussion. He is confusing several issues and, clearly, isn’t properly understanding the difference between Board Policy and what has been administrative practice.
Board policy indeed discusses transportation issues, school choice programs, attendance areas, etc. Board Policy does not address the execution of magnet school transportation. Mr. Orson appears to be ill-informed about the history of magnet program transportation as well as implementing the most efficient transportation methodology. In 2008, the district developed an administrative plan (not policy) to try and reduce the transportation budget. Because of the tiered scheduling issues the administrative plan evolved in such a way as to provide satellite hubs for transportation based on the elementary, middle and high school categories. This administrative practice was not necessarily congruent with geographically optimal routing. This administrative practice is not enshrined in policy. I am disappointed that Mr. Orson does not understand the difference. I hope that before he takes office in January, he spends some time to learn about these matters.
All interested parties should also note that magnet transportation to Chamblee MS has been provided from the Coralwood Diagnostic Center for the past 2 years. The shuttle has not been operating for two years in violation of policy. The shuttle pick-up site at Coralwood has always been and remains possible because it is an option that is permitted by policy. In fact, the transportation department’s own cost information indicates that operating a shuttle to Chamblee MS from Coralwood is cheaper than operating out of Henderson MS. There is no reason to object or prevent one of the shuttles to Chamblee MS from being operated using Coralwood as the hub. It will save the citizens of DeKalb money and be a more effective location for the students it serves.
I look forward to Mr. Orson indicating that he now understands this matter more fully and is thankful for my efforts in this regard.