ACLU takes legal action in bus drivers’ strike


Lawyers and parents of disabled children announce legal action against Providence Schools in the third week of a strike by school bus drivers. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) – The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is initiating legal action against state educational officials for failing to provide transport to school for students with disabilities during the ongoing Providence bus drivers’ strike.

The ACLU says schools are required under the law to provide transportation to students with disabilities. But during the strike, the schools have told parents to find ways to get their kids to school, for which they will be reimbursed. The ACLU says the burden is on the district, not parents.

The three legal actions taken Wednesday against the state Education Department include a demand letter, a potential precursor to a lawsuit.

The state Education Department says it’s trying to accommodate affected students.

City and school officials say they’re considering requesting new proposals for school bus transportation. The contract with First Student has expired.

Providence officials announce they will issue requests for proposals for school buses and bus services in response to the strike by school bus drivers, now in its third week. From left, Providence School Board Chairman Nick Hemond, School Superintendent Christopher Maher, Mayor Jorge Elorza, City Council President David Salvatore, Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare. Photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News



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