Choice Disrupted

Ohio law requires that school districts provide transportation to eligible private and charter school students. It’s that transportation that helps families choose education options beyond the traditional district school assigned to their child. While transportation by districts is required, it’s not always provided in a student- or family-friendly way.

For one Columbus mom, enough was enough. After weeks of schedule changes that left her daughter on the bus for four hours, Natalie Blevins withdrew her daughter from the Graham Expeditionary Middle School (GEMS).

ABC6 in Columbus reports:

No food, no water and stuck on a bus for hours. Columbus mom Natalie Blevins said she had to take action after her 12-year-old daughter was subject to late pick-ups, drop-offs and school bus “no shows” by Columbus City Schools.

“She was on the bus for over four hours her first two weeks of school,” Blevins told Scoring Our Schools. “That is after school.”

So months into the school year, Blevins pulled her daughter out of Graham Expeditionary Middle School, a charter school, as she said she could no longer depend on Columbus City Schools to pick her daughter up or get her to school on time.

Columbus City Schools says it isn’t cost-effective to develop the shorter route necessary to reduce time on the bus.

Still unwilling to enroll her daughter in the Columbus City Schools, Blevins is enrolling her daughter in a school district in another county. The family will use a network of family and friends (some of them living in the new school district) to create a reliable way to get her daughter to and from school.

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