National non-profit Bellwether Education Partners hosted a panel on May 2 in Washington, D.C., to discuss the current state of school transportation from multiple perspectives, including the unique challenges for urban districts, rural districts and communities with a high degree of school choice. School Board Chair and MPO member Cindy Stuart was asked to speak about the interagency collaboration and problem-solving of the Hillsborough MPO School Transportation Working Group (STWG). Hillsborough County Public Schools has been identified as the only school district nationwide who is represented and is a voting member on their local MPO.
Bellwether Partners released a new report, Miles to Go: Bringing School Transportation into the 21st Century, on the same day, announcing:
School districts struggle to provide efficient service in the face of escalating costs and increasingly complex education systems where more and more students attend schools outside their neighborhoods. Stagnant state funding streams force districts either to sacrifice service quality and forego system upgrades or divert funds from other purposes. Federal and state regulations concerning student safety and special student populations’ educational rights are at odds with strategies to improve efficiency. All those competing priorities must be carefully balanced.
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