Austintown, private schools talk about busing options

Austintown, private schools talk about busing options


Administrators with the Youngstown Catholic Diocese, Youngstown Christian and Austintown schools met Tuesday with the Western Reserve Transit Authority to discuss the ongoing issue of busing students outside the Austintown school district.

Austintown Superintendent Vincent Colaluca said the group of administrators attended a closed meeting to continue discussion on Austintown’s proposal to offer public-transit vouchers to private-school students instead of using district vehicles.

Austintown’s proposal, announced to parents in May, would affect students at St. Christine, Ursuline and Mollie Kessler beginning this fall. Youngstown Christian School went through the same process with Austintown schools last year. School officials and parents there fought the decision and said none of their students uses WRTA.

Mike Pecchia, president of Youngstown Christian Schools, said previously that the original plan to send students on a pre-existing WRTA route was an unsafe option.

But Pecchia said after Wednesday’s meeting that he’s confident a resolution favorable to all sides will be reached.

“I felt like both sides heard each other. I think we’re trying to figure out a way to resolve this,” he said. “We’ve got some work to do on it. ... But there was a willingness to sit down and come up with a solution.”

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