Johnstown, Northridge schools
Private-school transportation issue becoming 'tortuous'
The Northridge Local Board of Education voted 4-0 on Aug. 16 to rescind a resolution it had passed July 2 to declare busing students to private schools (not Northridge) as impractical.
Even still, some busing will be eliminated for students who would be on routes exceeding 30 minutes one way.
The district will not bus students to Liberty Christian Academy in Pataskala, St. Matthew School in Gahanna or Gahanna Christian, but it will transport students to St. Francis, Blessed Sacrament, Granville Christian, Newark Catholic and Welsh Hills School in Granville.
Treasurer Britt Lewis told board members that the Petermann Co., a private firm that provides transportation for students, determined that it takes longer than 30 minutes to transport students to Liberty Christian Academy, St. Matthew School and Gahanna Christian and that under state law, the district is not obligated to transport students more than a half an hour from a starting point within the district.
Johnstown-Monroe Superintendent Damien Bawn said his administration still is trying to determine what do.
“The road to a solution is a very tortuous route indeed,” he said.
The district must adhere strictly to “a confusing patchwork” of state laws, administrative policies and procedures, Bawn said.
“Additionally, the fact that our district contracts with a commercial vendor (Petermann) for transportation services complicates matters,” he said. “Now incorporate the additional complexity that sharing services between districts brings to bear, and you might better begin to understand why it has been difficult to determine the (best) answer to the issue so far.”
Read the full story in the Aug. 19 edition of ThisWeek Johnstown Independent.