Below is an email from the Deputy Chancellor in charge of operations for the DOE outlining in detail specific relief to support families affected by the possible bus strike on Tuesday, November 1. While we all hope the dispute will be settled prior to any strike action, it’s best to prepare for a possible strike.
Please read Deputy Chancellor Rose’s note and all of the links in their entirety before asking questions. Everything is clearly spelled out.
If you are requesting a MetroCard for either yourself and/or your child, please see Suzana Peci in the main office. If you are requesting reimbursement for carfare or milage, the appropriate forms (available by download or in the main office) must be mailed to the OPT dress provided on the links. Please do NOT leave reimbursement forms in the office, we are not authorized to process these requests.
“We are writing to inform you of the possibility of a disruption in yellow bus service which may impact your school community. This possible strike is a result of negotiations between two bus companies and the union representing the drivers. The Department of Education (DOE) contracts with these companies and is not a part of these negotiations.
The possible bus strike would impact 14,500 students – this includes public and non-public schools. There are approximately 12,000 public school students and 2,500 non-public school students. The strike would impact close to 600 bus routes including areas of Queens, Brooklyn, and Staten Island, including routes to your school. Bus routes in Manhattan and the Bronx will not be affected.
We are deeply concerned about the impact of a strike on your school and want you to be prepared and supported in the event one occurs. Please read the following information carefully:
· MetroCards: All students who currently receive yellow bus service are eligible to receive a MetroCard. Parents and guardians of all children with disabilities requiring transportation from their home directly to their school, as well as parents or guardians of general education children in grades K through 6, may also receive a MetroCard for the parent or guardian to act as the child’s escort to school. Should a strike occur, MetroCards will be available upon parents’ request at your school’s main office beginning on Tuesday, November 1.
· Reimbursement for Driving or Taking a Taxi or Car Service: As an alternative to MetroCards for parents or guardians whose children receive busing, we are offering reimbursement of actual transportation costs during the strike:
o Parents or guardians who opt to drive their children to school will be reimbursed at a rate of 54 cents per mile.
o Parents or guardians who use a taxi or car service to transport their child to school will be reimbursed for receipts for services received.
o Requests for reimbursements should be made once weekly. Forms and instructions are available at http://optnyc.org/Updates/InfoStrike.htm and should also be made available in your school’s main office. The forms ask families to indicate on which school days alternative transportation was taken and whether it was for both the morning and afternoon commute.
· Financial Hardships: For families facing financial hardship who are concerned with covering upfront costs of transportation for children, the DOE will pay, at the parent/guardian’s direction, private transportation providers (such as a taxi or car service). Forms and instructions are available athttp://optnyc.org/Updates/InfoStrike.htm
· Field Trips and After-School Programs may be affected as well and we will notify you if any trips must be cancelled.
We will follow up with a backpack notice on Monday morning for you to send home with students receiving yellow bus service. We will also be calling these families over the weekend.
We are disappointed in this potential disruption and inconvenience to your school’s families and will continue to be in close communication and provide updates on any developments.