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Today MHA David Brazil, Opposition Education Critic, is seeking clarity on government’s courtesy busing exemption, and calling for further changes to the controversial policy.
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Office of the Official Opposition 

Clarity Needed on Courtesy School Busing Exemption: Brazil

St. John’s, NL (September 11, 2018)  - Today MHA David Brazil, Opposition Education Critic, is seeking clarity on government’s courtesy busing exemption, and calling for further changes to the controversial policy. 

“The 1.6 kilometre busing rule is outdated, and the entire policy is in desperate need of an overhaul,” said Brazil

“This policy is inconvenient for parents and caregivers -- but more importantly, it is potentially dangerous for students. This is including younger ones who must walk busy streets and intersections or along rural roadways with insufficient gravel shoulders. This is an issue that impacts the entire province – yet government only sees fit to make changes in a select few areas.” 

Brazil refers to a recent announcement from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development that the province’s English School District are now making changes to their controversial busing policy in “select areas” of the province. This comes a little over four months after issuing letters to parents stating they would crackdown on exceptions to the 1.6km courtesy rule, which caused a number of communities to speak out against and protest the practice. 

Brazil, on behalf of the Official Oppositions, is questioning why only a select number of students will be included in this newly announced exemption – and immediately calls upon government to extend changes to courtesy busing to all parts of the province where the need exists.

“All students – no matter their location – should be provided options for a safe commute to school. If applied fairly and across all areas, these changes could help ease the burden to students and parents while the government works on a newly updated policy that would replace the archaic 1.6 kilometre rule,” added Brazil

“There is absolutely no reason that busses with available seating should pass by students forced to walk to school through unsafe conditions. We see a number of instances across this province where buses are less than half full – yet are not permitted to stop and pick up students inside the designated zone. This is not reasonable, and needs to change.”

Contacts:

Devin Drover
Director of Communications
1.709.729.6105 

DevinDrover@gov.nl.ca

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