DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Leaders of Dayton Public Schools are voicing concerns that the RTA is trying to prevent students from getting on its buses.
The Dayton Public Schools school board called an emergency meeting and news conference Monday to address the ongoing transportation issues. District leaders held the conference at the side of a busy road near Dunbar High School where the RTA bus stop students use is now located.
Currently, DPS does not provide busing for its high school students, so students that don’t have their own transportation, rely on the RTA to get to and from school.
“We are committed to making sure that our students have equitable access to school, and if that means that RTA needs to be bussing them, we need to work out a plan together to do that,” DPS Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Lolli said.
The district currently purchases 3,000 bus passes a month for its students at an inflated rate, according to board president Chrisondra Goodwine.
Lolli said the district’s concerns stem from a meeting DPS had with RTA officials and public comment RTA’s CEO made during a city commission work session on February 15.
During the work session, the CEO told commissioners that the RTA was considering no longer selling bus passes to anyone so the district could not buy them.
School board members said they need the district, RTA and Dayton community to work together.
“If you can’t get kids to school, you can’t educate them,” DPS School Board Member Jocelyn Spencer Rhynard said. “Our job Dayton Public Schools is to educate children, and we do everything we can to get our kids to school.”
District leaders RTA officials have voiced safety concerns after incidents at the RTA hub.
Goodwine said most of those incidents did not involve students, and the district is taking extra security measures around city buses.
“The district has offered security with our school resource officers and we’ve assigned them to the RTA Monday through Friday to ensure DPS students are well-behaved,” Goodwine said.
District leaders said what RTA officials are doing is a civil rights violation.
“We’re working on a plan for next year to see if we can free up additional busses to provide transportation if we have to,” DPS Business Manager David Lawrence said.
Lolli said the district has reached out to state lawmakers to meet with them to address their busing concerns.
2 NEWS reached out to the RTA for a comment after Monday’s press conference and are waiting to hear back.