NYC Question Paying $6,900 Per Student For Bus Transportation; Union Activists Go Nuts

Kyle Olsen looks at how taxpayers in the Big Apple are taken for a ride by the union bosses: New York City Schools Spend $6,900 Per Student - on Bus Transportation! Government schools are an expensive endeavor, especially when union labor and no-bid contracts are involved. The New York City Department of Education has been catching heat from transportation unions lately over a decision to solicit bids for private transportation services in an effort to curtail runaway costs. The district has not sought “significant” bids for student transportation services in 33 years. That means it’s probably been using the same companies for years, without competitive bids to naturally control rising costs. And those costs are increased every year because the companies use high-paid union drivers. In response to the union criticism, the DOE recently issued a “School Bus Bids FAQ” which makes a staggering admission: the city spends $6,900 per student (for a total of $1.1 billion) per year for bus transportation. In a 180 day school year, that’s $38.33 per student a day. At that rate it might be more cost-effective for the school system to distribute vouchers for kids to take taxis. City officials say New York spends more than twice what Los Angeles (the nation’s second-largest city) spends on K-12 student transportation.

Big Labor Sues to Force Kids into Bad Schools

Big Labor Sues to Force Kids into Bad Schools

Just when you think they can't go any lower, the union bosses have filed a lawsuit in Louisiana to force children to attend poor schools.  The Wall Street Journal opines on the latest big labor outrage: Here's the bizarre world in which we live: In 2007 Gabriel Evans attended a public school in New Orleans graded "F" by the Louisiana Department of Education. Thanks to a New Orleans voucher program, Gabriel moved in 2008 to a Catholic school. His mother, Valerie Evans, calls the voucher a "lifesaver," allowing him to get "out of a public school system that is filled with fear, confusion and violence." So what is the response of the teachers union? Sue the state to force 11-year-old Gabriel back to the failing school. This week a state court in Baton Rouge is hearing the union challenge to Louisiana's Act 2, which expanded the New Orleans program statewide and allows families with a household income less than 250% of the federal poverty line to get a voucher to escape schools ranked C or worse by the state. Gabriel's voucher covers $4,315 in annual tuition. The tragedy is how many students qualify for the program. According to the state, 953 of the state's 1,373 public schools (K-12) were ranked C, D or F. Under the new program, more than 4,900 students have received scholarships allowing them to attend non-public schools. Enter the teachers unions, which sued this summer to stop the incursion into their rotting enterprise. According to the Louisiana Federation of Teachers and the Louisiana Association of Educators, the voucher program steals money from public schools.