Districts that utilize neighborhood zones to establish eligibility for transportation services for its students, however, may not impose a geographical zone around a charter school and limit transportation for students attending the charter school to only those students who reside within this zone. See 603 CMR 1.07(3)(a). Charter schools are district-wide schools whose “zone” is the entire school district, such as a single high school or vocational school. The school district’s obligations to transport students who attend a charter school extend to all students who reside within the school district because all students who reside within the school district within which the charter school is located have a similar opportunity to attend the charter school.
The Lowell City Council will not only be forcing the School Dept. / City to provide busing to a Cawley location but will also require busing to Lowell Catholic students on Stevens street and any alternative or private High Schools that open in the next four years including a much talked about Charter High School. That it because once you offer a citywide school, you are obligated by law to bus ALL students who live in the city.
Currently because Lowell doesn’t offer any High School Busing no busing is provided to Lowell Catholic but once it is instituted in the City it becomes a requirement. That was not considered in the original projected busing cost.
A new twist I heard from a private school parent is that if Charter Schools are considered Citywide and we have a Citywide High School that we are going to offer some type of busing for, wouldn’t all the existing private elementary and middle schools currently bused be able to keep their busing because the city has citywide schools?
I have an email to DESE asking that question!
That $3.2 Million the City is voting to fund for Transportation and it is a City cost NOT a School cost could not only rise but it would add a 2.5% Tax increase on the 8% current increase for the Cawley site.
With a possible 10% tax increase added to these numbers which were given as part of a Presentation to Lowell City Council Finance Subcommittee in April 24, 2017… how is this an enticement for new businesses when you look at these increases.