RALEIGH (WTVD) --The Wake County Public School System released its 2016-17 bus route schedule on Friday morning. With 3,000 fewer routes than last year, the announcement was met with dissatisfaction from some parents and grandparents.
"My grandchildren are the most important people in my life. If I can't fight for them, and I will fight for them, I don't know who will," said Lynell Harris Wiggins. Her granddaughter, Mahalya, takes advantage of the bus program through WCPSS.
"It's frustrating for the parents. But it's so much more frustrating for the child. Because they come adapted to their environment that they've gotten used to," Harris Wiggins told ABC11.
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A representative from WCPSS told ABC11 the reduction in bus routes was to create a system that was more efficient. In previous years, Wake County parents had flexibility in sending their children to a school of their choice.
RELATED: WAKE COUNTY SCHOOL BUS ROUTES RELEASED
That defunct program created scenarios where buses were being shuttled across the Triangle with fewer than five students aboard, in some cases. Students who were already using that option will be allowed to continue doing so until they are out of their grade level. Once they advance, those students will be forced to attend their base school.
The representative also said routes were altered because of grade-level changes and to accommodate more students in a different location. Any student who had their bus stop change will still be within a certain distance from the new stop, which is mandated by law. WCPSS is asking parents to contact it if such is not the case.
"You have to take into account when you shift these kids around, you have to take into account what you're doing to the children," Harris Wiggins said. "It's not just about the efficiency of the program. It's about the effects you have on the children you're manipulating."
WCPSS is asking parents to be patient for the first few weeks as kinks are worked out. It is also reminding parents to make sure their children are registered for bus service before they attempt to ride the bus.
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