2009-12-18 / Editorial/Opinion

Rockaway Students Need Free Transportation To Excel

Forcing students to pay for their transportation to and from school is one of the worst ideas we have heard this year. Especially in Rockaway, where students are isolated from the rest of the city and where many schools are providing a subpar education, students need to go elsewhere to reach their educational goals. They need free public transportation to do that. One parent put it best in her letter to the Daily News on Tuesday. "In a city that touts itself as a world leader, it is deplorable to charge students to get to school. So called discounted bus passes cost parents almost $500 yearly. The best schools are miles away from lower-income neighborhoods; transportation costs keep low-income students in their own neighborhoods, repeating the cycle of poverty by limiting their access to a decent education," she wrote. In addition, our two magnet schools, the Scholars' Academy and the Channel View School for Research, count on students coming from the mainland each day. Those programs would most likely be severely curtailed should students not be able to travel to and from school without charge. The city's Department of Education should fund the program, not the MTA, and it could easily find the money to do that by outlawing consultant contracts and allowing city workers to do their jobs.

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