Youngstown City school leaders address busing issues

Youngstown City Schools bus over 10,000 kids every day

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YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The Youngstown City School District says it is looking into a recent busing incident to prevent it from happening again in the future.

On Monday, a school bus dropped off a 6-year-old girl in the wrong neighborhood, where she wandered the streets until she found help.

“Many times things fall through the cracks, but it should never be the life of a child,” said School Board President Brenda Kimble. “I’m just thankful that the child was smart enough to knock on someone’s door.”

Youngstown Schools bus over 10,000 kids every day, but only about half of them are city school students.

In this case, the little girl got on the wrong bus at her charter school and it took her to her old address on the north side. Still, CEO Krish Mohip says that shouldn’t happen.

“As a dad, it’s not something I would accept and as CEO, it’s not something I am going to accept. I’m just trying to figure out how to make this work with the staff and the busing we have available,” he said. “We’ve already had some situations in administrative and at the bus driver route for some pre-conference hearings to talk about what’s going on.”

He says the department is in shambles. In June, nearly all of the drivers lost certification and then there were issues getting the buses road-ready.

“Our focus was getting our bus drivers back up to speed. Making sure they were certified, making sure they had the skills and knowledge to be…the safest drivers on the road and at the same time, trying to make sure the buses are operational,” Mohip said.

The district also redesigned the routes for the first time in years.

Between the new routes and recertification, the district lost many drivers.

“When bus drivers call off, we are exhausting all the subs we have in our sub pool and even using other drivers from other areas,” Mohip said.

He says the district needs to hire at least ten new drivers.

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