‘Our questions go unanswered;’ Charter schools still frustrated with unresolved DPS bussing issues

DAYTON — Some charter schools are frustrated, even furious, with what they call a bussing mess.

Tuesday night they let Dayton Public School board members hear it.

For more than a month, a charter school principal said her students are showing up late to school, or not at all, and she blames DPS’ busing.

“Dayton Public Schools is now restricting my students’ right to an education,” Alyse Pennington said.

Pennington is the principal for Horizon Science Academy Dayton Elementary, a charter school.

“These are students that reside in the community in which we all live. They’re our students,” she said.

>> Parents, school principal say DPS busing is ‘chaotic’; District says they are working on a plan

State law requires public districts provide student transportation to charter schools.

“You strive to provide safety and reliable transportation, that’s on your website, to only your kids. While collecting our kids’ bus money,” Kelli Burkhardt, a teacher at Horizon Science Academy said to the board.

“Our questions go unanswered, they go unacknowledged, phones are turned off. That is not how you should be doing communication with parents,” she added.

News Center 7′s Molly Koweek asked DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli for a comment during the meeting.

Lolli declined an interview but said the charter schools choose not to go with the times that DPS busing provides.

“We do our very best to get them on time. The problem is the charter schools choose what time, and they tell us, when in effect, if they would work with us, with all of our 26 buildings, it would make it a lot easier. They choose not to do that, so that’s why there are issues, because they will not take the time that we have availability for bus drivers,” Lolli said.

>> Dayton Public superintendent answers charge that first-day school bus service in ‘chaotic situation’

Lolli added that the district is working with the Ohio Department of Education to resolve the issue.

News Center 7 previously reported Pennington said she and administrators from 10 other Dayton are charter schools filed complaints with the Ohio Department of Education.

“These student are our future, and you are currently failing them. We as a community need you to take immediate action to solve all of the transportation issues and support our shared community of students,” Burkhardt said.

News Center 7 has reached out to the ODE to see where the agency stands but has not received a response.

Comments on this article