News & Media

Denver Public Schools bus system leaves many students at the curb - The Denver Post

Education Reform

December 18, 2017  |  Monte Whaley, The Denver Post  |  Link to article

Photo by Andy Cross, The Denver Post

"Denver’s 92,000 public K-12 students have more than 200 schools from which to choose when considering the best academic fit — a variety hailed nationwide. But critics say Denver Public Schools’ transportation system unfairly narrows those options for thousands of families.

'DPS is frequently held up as a national example for its portfolio of schools,' said Matt Samelson, who is with the Denver-based Donnell-Kay Foundation, a nonprofit that tracks education issues. 'But choice without transportation is no choice at all...'

For example, more than 9,000 teens — nearly half of the district’s 20,623 high school students — do not qualify for DPS transportation to and from campus because they have chosen a school other than their neighborhood one...

'It’s just a complex issue,' said Dionne Williams, deputy director of Children’s Affairs for the city of Denver. 'It has a lot to do with budget constraints and constraints on services.'

Four entities — Donnell-Kay Foundation, Together Colorado (a community activist group), DPS and the city of Denver — offered to fund free or low-cost monthly RTD passes for all DPS high school students last spring. RTD declined the offer and asked the city and DPS to join an ongoing study of fares in the RTD system. A systemwide youth pass is being considered, RTD spokeswoman Christine Jaquez said."

This article originally published on The Denver Post on December 16, 2017. It has been formatted for publication on Together Colorado's latest news page.

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