Special Needs Transportation

Mayoral Candidate Pays for Special-Needs Student's Ride to School During Bus Strike

Nicole Schlosser
Posted on October 1, 2018

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — A mayoral candidate here sent a wheelchair-accessible van to take a special-needs student to school on Friday after he missed school on Thursday due to a bus driver strike, WPRI reports.

As school bus drivers for First Student began striking on Thursday over a contract dispute related to retirement benefits, according to the news source, the mother of Jeremy, a 12-year-old boy who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair kept him home because he didn’t have access to transportation without the school bus.

Meanwhile, Providence mayoral candidate Dee Dee Whitman saw Jeremy’s story on the news and offered to pay for a van to take him to school on Friday, which happened to be picture day at his school, according to WPRI.

Providence Public Schools told the news source that there are 1,000 students with transportation included in their individualized education program (IEP), and the district hasn’t been able to find alternate transportation for those students during the strike. A spokesperson for the district told WPRI the district plans to reimburse parents of special-needs students for transporting them during the strike and to provide specialized educational services after the strike ends to make up for any lost time at school.

As the strike continued into Monday, Providence Public Schools posted a request on its website and Facebook and Twitter pages for families of students who ride the bus to arrange alternate travel for them, and to provide the student’s school with updated names and contact information for adults authorized to pick up the students.

Related Topics: driver strike, Rhode Island, special needs, wheelchairs

Nicole Schlosser Executive Editor
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