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Community leaders want BPS to pay parent to drive their kids to school

In a statement from the district, a spokesperson says Buffalo Public Schools is not considering the move at this time.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Since classes started at Buffalo Public Schools, Latrice Martin's three kids have been signed up to take the bus. 

Instead, Martin has had to drive them everyday because the bus is hours late or never arrives. 

"It's ridiculous. I want my children on time to school, ready for their education," Martin said. 

It's a side effect of the nationwide bus driver shortage. 

Now community leaders are proposing Buffalo Public Schools begin a new plan.

"Immediately start the process of paying parents to bring their children to school so that we eliminate the number of children that we have to bring to school," said Sam Radford, co-chair of We the Parents. 

Radford hasn't clarified how much he and other community leaders at a press conference Wednesday would like to see parents get paid. 

Cities like Baltimore are paying $250 stipends for the month of September, while Chicago is paying parents up to $1,000.

A BPS spokesperson says the district is not considering paying parents at this time.

Instead, it's focusing on initiatives Gov. Kathy Hochul announced on Sunday to recruit C-D-L drivers to become bus drivers. 

In response, Erie County Clerk Mickey Kearns is extending the time for which people can either get a new CDL license or renew them. 

Finding drivers can take time though, which is why some would like to see Hochul deploy the National Guard until those positions can be permanently filled. 

"This is a crisis. These are our children. We recognize it as a crisis. We send people in to assist," said Joel Moore, with We the Parents. 

However, a spokesperson for Hochul previously told 2 On Your Side, "Transporting kids to school is outside the current scope of the National Guard."

Read the full BPS statement here: 

The Buffalo Public School District is not considering paying parents to transport their own children or carpool other parents' children. At this time, we are focused on implementing the initiatives for driver recruitment and credentialing provided by Governor Hochul and other support we are receiving from our elected officials. We are optimistic that over the next month we will see improvement in our driver recruitment efforts as a result of the myriad strategies we have put in place. 

If students do not ride for 10 days, schools will contact families to see if they no longer require transportation services. We do not remove a student's ride unless the parent agrees to opt out. 

The app is working properly, however, it is designed to follow one bus, on one route, with a designated body of students. When buses are combined, and rerouted, the GPS does not readjust for timing differences. This will continue to be an issue until all buses are covered and running smoothly.