Parents are expressing concern as Lee County’s after-school transportation system is ending.
According to Bernier, the district did not have enough bus drivers in 2022. To fix that, Lee County Schools put in place a proximity plan to keep elementary-aged kids near their homes. The district also eliminated busing kids to daycare or other after-school activities.
People like Derek Bardaville, a single father with two kids, counted on after-school transportation. “Going to the daycare to drop my son off, and then going to the school and waiting in line to drop my daughter off, makes me late for work,” he said, “and then after-school programs fill up very quickly, and there’s no space.”
The district announced they are no longer offering after-school transportation for the 2023-24 school year in February.
WINK News asked Lee County Superintendent Dr. Christopher Bernier if anything will be done to address the parents’ concerns.
Bernier said, “We have a business model that we need to complete, and that is getting our children to and from school on time. My responsibility is the education of a child. Last year, over 6000 students per day were late. We can’t have six students starting the school day every day late to school.”