Catholic school kids being cheated out of busing, Diocese of Metuchen says
The Diocese of Metuchen's school system has filed a formal complaint against the Piscataway Public School District, saying it broke state rules by not providing busing to more than 40 of its students.
The decision cost the diocese's Catholic schools eight students, who transferred to public schools because they rely on busing, according to a statement released by the diocese Monday.
It said 66 students 66 students who attend Holy Savior Academy in South Plainfield, St. Francis Cathedral School in Metuchen and Rutgers Preparatory School in Somerset were notified in August by the Piscataway school district that they were being declined bus transportation because “there is no bus route traveling close to (their) home.” The Rutgers Preparatory School is not affiliated with the diocese.
The diocese estimates it saves Piscataway taxpayers a "a minimum of $552,500 this year," based on the cost to educate a child in the public school system.
But it said Piscataway failed to take the proper steps to secure busing — including not putting non-public bus routes out to bid until after families were already notified busing wouldn't be provided — leaving the diocese's students in the lurch.
“Students and their families shouldn’t have to fight for a ride to the school of their choice," Kim Chorba, director of government programs for the New Jersey Network of Catholic School Families, said in the diocese statement.
The diocese said it has struggled with several districts to secure appropriate busing.
Piscataway schools were closed Monday for the Labor Day holiday, and district officials could not immediately be reached for comment.