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Anger at Austintown bus plan

Published: Fri, June 8, 2012 @ 12:00 a.m.

Anger at Austintown bus plan

As the parents of a St. Chris- tine student, we are writing to protest the proposed change to our busing situation. The Austintown Board of Education says its plan is based on the Ohio Revised Code, and it has the right to offer alternative transportation and it is doing this by offering WRTA public transportation. Well that same code also requires the district to provide safe, timely transportation to our children, and the proposed WRTA option is not safe or timely.

Requiring our eight-year-old son to ride public transportation alone to and from school is not safe. In fact, it’s absolutely crazy. He would have to walk over a mile to and from the WRTA bus stop because the buses do not stop near our home or at St. Christine’s. Our eight-year-old son would have an unsupervised layover at the downtown WRTA bus terminal, which is one of the highest crime areas in the city. He would be unsupervised, at risk and scared to death. And to top it all off, he would be late for school every single day. This so called “option” is completely ridiculous.

We have supported school levies in the past, but if the board goes through with this proposed change, we will never vote for another Austintown school levy. We will also make sure that all of our friends and family in Austintown vote against future levies as well.

Our son has every right to ride the bus like any other Austintown child. We all pay the same taxes. Stop discriminating against the Catholic school children, and stop putting money before the safety and welfare of these children. Do the right thing.

Glendon and Tarra O’Hara, Austintown


1DontBanThisDrone(715 comments)posted 3 years ago

"Requiring our eight-year-old son to ride public transportation alone to and from school is not safe."

Nobody is requiring your eight-year-old son to ride public transportation...alone or not.


"In fact, it’s absolutely crazy."

Then don't do it.


"He would have to walk over a mile to and from the WRTA bus stop"

Not if you give him a ride, he won't. But instead, you'd rather make him walk.


Am I the only one who feels sorry for this kid? lol


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2NoBS(2215 comments)posted 3 years ago

Drone, you missed a couple:

"Our son has every right to ride the bus like any other Austintown child."

That's true - your child has the right to ride the bus TO A PUBLIC SCHOOL like any other child. He does NOT have the right to ride a public school bus to a private school.

"We all pay the same taxes."

Yes, we do, but our taxes aren't supposed to go to private institutions. Our taxes support public schools, not private/parochial schools.

Youngstown public school kids rode city buses in the past - it wasn't that big a deal. We bought bus passes at a discount rate or paid the regular fare, too. And the story pointed out that a point-to-point route could be set up where the kids would go directly to the school, not having to deal with the Federal St. station. If there's one major flaw in the Board's plan, it's dumping kids on their own in that sewer. But the WRTA said that concern can be eliminated, if the Board would talk to them.

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31loaf(100 comments)posted 3 years ago

Nobs,You missed a couple. You should say we'll take your taxes but don't ask for anything in return. And you also show why private education is superior to the babysitting done in Austintown as well as most other public schools. Austintown could save a lot more money cutting the fat out of union contracts that finance their election campaigns!

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4Westsider(243 comments)posted 3 years ago

I am sorry - these parents have chosen to send their child to a parochial school located outside Austintown Township. Either send the child to the parochial school in Austintown or get him there yourselves

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5gmailuser(6 comments)posted 3 years ago

Be careful what you wish for, if you keep talking about what a good idea this is and how much money it will save, it could be your kids next! Austintown parents didn't want the Federal League, you got it anyway. Austintown parents did not want open enrollment, you got it anyway. Austintown did not want uniforms, they got it anyway. How do you know this isn't next for you?Think about how much money it could save the district, no wages, benefits or retirement for the bus drivers. How much would it save in fuel and repair costs? Now how do you feel about your six year old daughter sitting at the WRTA terminal for forty minutes unsupervised? Is it okay if she walks almost a mile from her bus stop to school on a busy road with sidewalks only covering half the route?
These are kids we are talking about, if you are angry at the parents for choosing private schools find some other way to work it out.

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6Buttercup2012(5 comments)posted 3 years ago

OK... first, these people choose to incorporate religion into their child's education... I can see where some of you need some too... the whole debate is about CHILDREN'S SAFETY. Yes they can drive their child but what about the people who have no way of doing that?? The school is stating that they are saving $40,000 or $45,000 ... WOW!!! BIG DEAL!! Just wait until one of these children get hurt or worse, because a parents decides that the Austintown Board of Education knows whats best for their child and actually puts them on that bus. Can you say 'lawsuit' and I'm sure it'll be for more than $45,000. I also noticed that none of you mentioned MCCTC students... the ones that can drive... they send buses to Canfield for them... that is a choice those students made and they still get a ride out of the township!! These people are doing what they feel is best for their child. I am doing what I feel what is best for my children. And trust me when I say this...gmailuser hit the nail on the head!

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7unhappyvoter1(87 comments)posted 3 years ago

school system saving money!!!!! who will get the raise with that money?

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8NoBS(2215 comments)posted 3 years ago

Buttercup - MCCTC is part of the public school system. That's why nobody mentioned them.

And I disagree that the whole debate is about childrens' safety. That's an important part of it, for sure, but it's not the only part. As public schools are looking for ways to cut costs, they're cutting all sorts of things they're not mandated to keep. Supplying public school buses to non-public schools is one of those things. The WRTA can send a bus on a specific route to pick up school kids - no need to run them through the sewer on West Federal St. We taxpayers are already paying for the WRTA buses - it'd be nice if SOMEONE rode them!

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9peacelover(805 comments)posted 3 years ago

I agree with YoungstownBornRaised. These people choose to send their children to a private school in Youngstown when they live in Austintown then they complain that no free bus service is provided. I never did understand why parents of Catholic school students expect transportation to be provided for their children by public school buses. Yes they pay taxes but that tax money is for their local public school. If you don't like the situation then transport your kids yourselves.

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10gmailuser(6 comments)posted 3 years ago

@NoBS - "MCCTC is part of the public school system. That's why nobody mentioned them".
The truth is no one mentioned MCCTC because it proves how hypocritical this plan is. Mr Colaluca said they cannot afford to bus outside of their township-MCCTC is outside of their township. St Christine's school is approx. 4 miles from the Austintown Bus garage, Ursuline is anywhere from 6.5 to 8 miles from the Austintown bus garage depending on the route. MCCTC is 8 miles from the Austintown bus garage.
Austintown schools are NOT cutting things "they're not mandated to keep" They are still provided busing for Fitch students even though they are not required to.
The state of Ohio says the Parochial students are entitled to a bus ride, plain and simple
"The WRTA can send a bus on a specific route to pick up school kids - no need to run them through the sewer on West Federal St. We taxpayers are already paying for the WRTA buses - it'd be nice if SOMEONE rode them!"
You're also paying for the school buses, which are designed to transport young kids, WRTA buses are not equipped with the same safety devices.as school buses-that's because they were never intended for that use

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11atownreader(34 comments)posted 3 years ago

This is so ridiculous, There is so much whining, it's almost funny. Austintown Bd. of Ed. is only doing it's job of eliminating unnecessary expenses. Busing outside the district is not necessary when private alternatives are available inside the district. Hopefully, parents will be able to find their own solutions. This thing about not voting for tax levies and getting all friends and family to do the same has been around for decades. Grow up, people.

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12anothermike(220 comments)posted 3 years ago

Time was when there were virtuallly no school buses in any city, just public transportation that you could (and did) use for any purpose. Once everyone decided to "jump ship" and head to the suburbs because their neighbor did, that was the end of dependable public transportation as we know it in the Mahoning Valley. Like another poster said: "Be careful what you wish for...."

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13Freeatlast(1991 comments)posted 3 years ago

That is so stupid,, public schools must set up for all kids in the district
Check the law . Before you run your mouth

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14andy92472(3 comments)posted 3 years ago

It was ok when the Austintown school district begged us for money to build their two new middle schools. There was no mention of the burden the transportation was putting on the district. We all better be careful what transpires here. If you do away with one what will stop them from doing away with all. Yes there are laws, but how soon they can change.

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