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

DAYTON — Dayton Public Schools said they have a plan to solve the major busing problems that charter schools across the area have complained about.

Many of the Dayton charter schools are actually in the second week of classes, but administrators say they are having problems with DPS buses getting their students to school and getting them in classes in time.

“We don’t know when they’re going to come, so we’re hanging out on the corner for them to come.” Alyssa Pennington told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell.

Pennington is the elementary principal of Horizon Science Academy in Dayton.

They began classes Aug. 10 and have had busses with students arrive two hours late some mornings, she said.

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But the problem isn’t only with getting students to school, it continues after classes are dismissed at 2:30 p.m.

“They are not coming up until as late as 5 p.m.,” Pennington said.

She said the bus drivers are not to blame. Parents of students say the same thing.

“When the parents don’t know where their kids are , what time the bus is coming, there’s a problem with the transportation department,” Kia Warren said.

Warren said her sixth grade son called her when the bus was 40 minutes late.

She had to leave work and feels this is a problem in the scheduling and planning area.

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DPS said they have enough drivers.

The district said that they contracted with a private company, First Student, to haul private and charter school students last year and took it over themselves this year.

There are currently 96 routes and 107 active drivers but the district will need more in order to address charter school concerns, according to DPS Superintendent Elizabeth Lolli.

Between December 2021 and August 2022, seven meetings were held with non-public schools to discuss 2022-2023 transportation.

In April, a meeting was held to specifically discuss the districts plans to transport non-public students this year, rather than First Student

But those meetings have not translated to smooth trip to school early this year.

“We are having these issues , they’re not meeting our needs,” Pennington said.

Administrators said the goal is very simple, get the students to the building, through the doors and into their seats to start learning on time.

One administrator told News Center 7 she was told by DPS they had new routes planned for Monday to do just that.

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