New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Education

Overcrowding in East Side public schools threatens to deny a generation of children their constitutional right to a "<a href="http://www.cfequity.org/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>sound basic education.</strong></a>" We must make more school seats available now, build more schools to keep up with current development, and investigate new solutions for building educational infrastructure.<br><br>I have a strong commitment to public education that stems from being a graduate of the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.bxscience.edu/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Bronx High School of Science</strong></a>, State University of New York's&nbsp;<a href="http://www.albany.edu/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>University at Albany</strong></a>&nbsp;and&nbsp;<a href="http://law.buffalo.edu/&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>University at Buffalo Law School</strong></a>. I helped create Community Board 8’s Youth and Education Committee, identified a&nbsp;<a href="http://kallosforcouncil.com/sites/default/files/DYCD_Bus.pdf&quot; target="_BLANK"><strong>Free Yellow Bus Program</strong></a>&nbsp;for local youth service providers, and created an internship program to better serve the youth and education needs of our community. As your Council member I will continue to fight for increased funding for youth services and education.

1010 WINS Council Passes Bill Requiring GPS Tracking On All City School Buses by 1010 WINS

Council Passes Bill Requiring GPS Tracking On All City School Buses

“Parents should be able to track buses just like an Uber or an MTA bus, see when it’s coming, come downstairs with their kids, see it get their kids to school safely and know when it’s coming to drop off their child at home,” said Councilman Ben Kallos, who sits on the City Council’s Education Committee.

Now, parents will be able to locate their children’s school buses in real-time.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle Special Ed advocates say school bus GPS will save kids by Paula Katinas

Special Ed advocates say school bus GPS will save kids

On Wednesday, the council approved legislation sponsored by Chaim Deutsch (D-Brighton Beach-Sheepshead Bay) and Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side) to install GPS devices on school buses and to give parents the option of using the tracking devices via an app. Another bill would give parents the opportunity before the start of the school year to review and bus routes and request changes to those routes.

The bills have been sent to Mayor Bill de Blasio for his signature.

Metro NYC City Council passes bill to track school buses with GPS by Will Drickey

NYC City Council passes bill to track school buses with GPS

"Every year, the start of the school year, starts with nightmares, of children who get stuck on buses for hours, leaving parents wondering where their children are," said NYC's Councilmember Ben Kallos, on the addition of GPS trackers. "We can do it with Uber, the MTA does it with buses. None of this is new."

Kings County Politics Treyger, Deutsch, Brannan All Play Role In GPS School Bus Legislation by Stephen Witt

Treyger, Deutsch, Brannan All Play Role In GPS School Bus Legislation

“I’m so proud that the City Council voted to pass my legislation and the entire STOP package, the most comprehensive oversight and reform we’ve ever seen of our student transit system,” said Treyger. “This legislation is about dragging a $1.2 billion school bus and transport industry into the 21st century and building the accountability and transparency necessary to ensure that our city’s children and families are receiving the safe, efficient, and humane school transportation services they deserve.”

But Treyger was also quick to call himself the prime co-sponsor on Council Member Ben Kallos’ (D-Manhattan) legislation to put GPS devices on all school buses.

“Parents have enough to worry about. School bus rides to and from school should not be another cause for concern. I’m proud to join Council Members Kallos and Deutsch in sponsoring this legislation that will give parents peace of mind when it comes to their child’s daily commute,” he said.

NY1 City Council Passes School Bus Reform, Includes GPS Tracking for Buses by LINDSEY CHRIST

City Council Passes School Bus Reform, Includes GPS Tracking for Buses

"We now have legislation that takes lessons from cities like Boston, where parents get bus routes weeks ahead of the school year, in time to challenge routes as well as from the Chancellor's home city of Houston, where since 2015 parents have had access to GPS apps, so they know where the buses are," City Councilman Ben Kallos said.

In September, bus problems began before the first school bells rang, when many kids were not picked up for the first day of classes. Other children rode for hours, arriving late to school. By the end of the month, the city had received 130,000 complaints about the school buses, significantly up from previous years, when bus problems had also plagued the start of school.

ABC7 New bill requires GPS tracking on all New York City school buses by Stacey Sager

New bill requires GPS tracking on all New York City school buses

"It's pretty straightforward. We can do it for Uber. We can do it on MTA buses. We can do it even on subways, and listen, if the MTA can get this right, it's scary that the city hasn't been able to get it right with our yellow buses," said Ben Kallos, a Democratic City Council member.

The portion of legislation involving the GPS will cost about $3.6 million in the first year of implementation. There's an estimated $1.8 million cost in the years to follow.

Eliyanna Kaiser, a New York City mother, said she is ready to celebrate over this new legislative package.

New York Daily News EXCLUSIVE: New laws to prevent NYC school bus abuses seen in 2018 crisis by Ben Chapman

EXCLUSIVE: New laws to prevent NYC school bus abuses seen in 2018 crisis

Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Upper East Side), a new parent who proposed the GPS bill, said that requiring city school buses to operate electronic tracking devices will provide worried parents with knowledge of their kids’ whereabouts.

“Parents have brought up concerns they don’t know when the bus is coming home,” Kallos said. “Now they’ll finally be in position to know where their kids are. I’m hoping it’ll have a big impact.”

Parents of public school children impacted by problems with the city’s long-struggling bus system were eager for relief promised by the proposed legislation, which would take affect by September.

“Right now it’s the Wild West and we don’t have proper oversight — that why the bus crisis was what it was,” said Rachel Ford, a Queens parent and member of the Parents to Improve School Transportation advocacy group, whose son was delayed on his school bus for nearly four hours at the start of the school year.

CBS New York NYC Expected To Approve GPS Tracking For School Buses by Lisa Rozner

NYC Expected To Approve GPS Tracking For School Buses

Councilman Ben Kallos introduced legislation back in 2014 to get GPS tracking installed on every school bus, so parents can monitor when the bus is coming, or see why it’s late. Councilman Chaim Deutsch and Councilman Mark Treyger, who chairs the Education Committee, confirmed that the bill will advance out of the committee on Wednesday. Council Speaker Corey Johnson is expected to bring it up for a full vote in the afternoon.

“I’m confident we will pass this with a veto-proof majority tomorrow,” Kallos said.

MORECity Councilman Says Proposed GPS Tracking Systems For School Buses Could Have Prevented Snowstorm Nightmare

The Department of Education will be required to implement it by September for the 2019-20 school year. The effort dates back almost 20 years, when former Councilman Michael Nelson introduced a bill to require two-way radio communication. Since then, GPS tracking has been been successfully implemented in major school districts like Denver, Boston and Houston, the district where Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza last worked.

Our Town EXCLUSIVE: 640 new school seats for UES by Michael Garofalo

EXCLUSIVE: 640 new school seats for UES

The city aims to add 640 new public school seats on the Upper East Side as part of its upcoming $17 billion five-year school capital plan.

Plans for expanding the neighborhood’s school capacity appear in the School Construction Authority and Department of Education’s proposed capital plan for fiscal years 2020-2024. The 640 Upper East Side seats are among the 2,794 new seats the plan calls for in School District 2, which includes the Upper East Side, Midtown, Chelsea and much of Lower Manhattan.

An SCA and DOE spokesperson did not comment on whether the city has identified potential sites for the 640 new seats. But Council Member Ben Kallos, who advocated for the agencies to expand school capacity in his Upper East Side district, said that the added seats will most likely be located in a new school.

“My preference is for one large school,” Kallos said, adding, “Based on the work I’ve been doing with the SCA to find a location for this school, I believe that there will be a site large enough to accommodate all 640 seats, if not more.”

The 640-seat Upper East Side project will cost an estimated $92.85 million, with an expected completion date of March 2025, according to the proposed capital plan. The city hopes to start design work by Sept. 2020 and begin construction by Dec. 2021.

New York Daily News Disabled NYC kids spent hours stranded in the storm on buses, without food or bathrooms by Ben Chapman

Disabled NYC kids spent hours stranded in the storm on buses, without food or bathrooms

Citywide Council on Special Education Co-Chair Gloria Corsino said she was flooded with calls from parents whose kids with disabilities suffered on buses that were stuck on the roads for hours.

“These drivers don’t allow kids to eat on the bus or use the bathroom,” Corsino said. “Imagine the trauma. This is just poor emergency management.”

Manhattan City Councilman Ben Kallos said the storm exposed serious weaknesses in the city’s beleaguered, $1.2 billion yellow bus system, which is already undergoing an overhaul amid widespread service problems, allegations of corruption and a federal investigation.

“All of this could have been prevented,” said Kallos, a Democrat who represents the Upper East Side and intervened with the NYPD to help other kids with disabilities get home from the same stricken bus as Reynoso’s son.

“When you already have a bus route that’s three hours long, and then there’s a storm, it’s going to double or triple,” Kallos said. “We’re setting up these drivers and kids for failure.”

The city will investigate busing problems encountered in the storm, said Mayor de Blasio spokeswoman Jaclyn Rothenberg.