DETROIT — In new developments announced last week, Detroit Public Schools (DPS) will not follow through with a plan to lay off 159 special-needs bus attendants.
According to the Detroit Free Press, the move would have left only 49 attendants on the job. District officials reportedly reversed their decision after numerous calls from parents and special-education advocates, who expressed concern that student safety would have been compromised without attendants on the buses.
Steve Wasko, a DPS spokesman, confirmed to the Detroit Free Press that the bus attendants would not be laid off and said that Robert Bobb, the district’s emergency financial manager, first announced the change during a Detroit Board of Education meeting held late last week.
Wasko went on to tell the Detroit Free Press that the intent from the beginning “was to ensure that services would be fully provided to any child with special needs who required assistance while being transported” and that although there were not written records that required bus attendants for many of the students “our further investigation made it clear that the services should continue.”