Some parents concerned about bus changes affecting after school daycare

Last minute changes are putting thousands of parents who send their children to after school daycare in a real bind.
With less than a week to go until the first day of school, working parents in Wake Forest are scrambling to figure how they'll get their kids to after school programs at the Boys and Girls Club.

"We're all going to be struggling, " said Susan Young.

Young found out Tuesday Wake County School will no longer provide transportation to daycare and afterschool programs this year. Classes start Monday.

"I personally can't get off work when I work out at the airport to drive home to pick my son up from school and to take him to the Boys and Girls Club. It won't work," Young said.

Young, who contacted ABC11, and a group of about a dozen parents from Wake Forest Middle School say they depend on school buses to get their kids to the club every day. Once there, the kids get help with their academics, participate in intramural sports and perform community service projects, all while their parents are still at work.

Jimmy Hatzimimis has a special needs son who has grown socially from the activities.

"The program has allowed him to basically express himself. He's playing intramural sports. He's doing things that in a normal setting would have been impossible for him," Hatzimimis explained.

Lisa Luten with Wake County Schools says the district is working with $500,000 less in funding prompting the cuts.

"We receive no state or local funding to provide after-school transportation to any after-school care provider, but the school system has historically provided such transportation after it meets its legal obligation to all other students," Luten disclosed in a written statement. "We appreciate the efforts of the Boys & Girls Club as we work closely together to find a solution for this year."

The cuts will affect roughly 250 kids in Wake Forest and about 4,000 county-wide.

The decision doesn't make sense to the parents, who note their Boys and Girls Club is a little more than two miles from their middle school.

Additionally, the middle schoolers use the same buses that later end up at Wake Forest Elementary, which is next door to the club.

"I'm a single mom raising two kids and I work until five and it takes me a good 45 minutes to an hour to get home," Wake Forest Middle parent Kristi Whitcomb told ABC11.

School officials say it'll take at least 30 days for bus routes to stabilize. Then they'll start processing requests to adjust those routes.

"We need that bus service; our kids need the boys and girls club. They're a tremendous asset," said Whitcomb.

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