Giving Compass’ Take:
• Andre Perry praises D.C.’s school bus model – unrestricted transportation for students to get to school and other learning opportunities – as a path to racial equality.
• How can other cities follow this example? What are the unique challenges of attempting this elsewhere?
• Find out how school district boundaries can increase segregation.
Kids go to school to get an education, and in part to increase their future job opportunities, not limit their parents’ prospects in the process. But how they get to school is a crucial, underappreciated detail that can make a world of difference to the communities where schools are located.
Earlier this month, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser announced an update to the city’s Kids Ride Free program that will smooth out kinks to an otherwise model program that others should emulate. The program enhances the program that allows students to move around in a city known for its traffic and congestion.
In D.C., all students between the ages of 5 and 21 who attend a public school, including charters and private schools, are eligible to ride the bus systems (Metrobus, DC Circulator) and rail system (Metrorail) to school and school-related activities for free. Students aren’t limited to a certain number of rides or stops, school days or times.
The new card system makes it more convenient for parents to properly enroll their children in Kids Ride Free and facilitates better accounting of who is using public transportation.
Allowing kids to ride public transportation for free reflects how students actually live and learn. Students don’t live in schools. They live and learn in communities. We limit students’ educations when we curb their access to museums, libraries, community events and other places where learning happens.
Read the full article about bus routes to racial equality by Andre Perry at The Hechinger Report.
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