New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Chalkbeat New York

Chalkbeat New York After school bus horror stories, New York City council members propose fixes by Christina Veiga

After school bus horror stories, New York City council members propose fixes

City council members are proposing a slew of new bills to address the long-standing problems. One bill co-sponsored by more than a dozen members would require all buses to use GPS tracking, another would create a bill of rights for riders, and another would require the education department to report average travel times for students. Tucked into a bill sponsored by Councilman Ben Kallos is a call for the city to also consider the use of transportation to encourage school integration.

Kallos, who is also behind the legislation to require location trackers, said the city has already allocated funding for the devices in its budget.

“The city just needs to do it. It’s already paid for,” he said. “It is most important for parents and caretakers… so that no one has to worry where the bus is or their child is.”

Chalkbeat New York How many students apply to each New York City school, how many get in, and where do they come from? We could soon find out by Chirstina Veiga

How many students apply to each New York City school, how many get in, and where do they come from? We could soon find out

While some of that information is already publicly available, Kallos wants to gather more details and make it available in a single report.

He also hopes to expand the bill to include information about Pre-K for All applications to help reveal what he sees as unmet need. Kallos said that 54 percent of families who applied for pre-K on the Upper East Side, part of his district, were not offered seats in their zip code in 2015.

“The Mayor’s promise of ‘Pre-Kindergarten for All’ must include enough seats in every neighborhood,” Kallos said in a statement. “Parents in my district are giving up on our public schools and with it our government, and parents who can’t afford private school are being forced out.”

Chalkbeat New York City Council quizzes DOE on details of Fariña’s system restructuring by Monica Disare

City Council quizzes DOE on details of Fariña’s system restructuring

Where can principals turn if they are not getting the support they need?

Under the old network system, there was an element of competition among the support networks. If principals were not pleased with their support, they could turn to one of the other networks if it was not already overburdened.

Council member Benjamin Kallos noted that under the new system, most schools don’t have a choice about who to turn to for help. He asked officials how they planned to handle principals who felt they are not getting what they need.