DeSoto school buses will no longer take kids to day cares - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

DeSoto school buses will no longer take kids to day cares

High gas prices are why officials at DeSoto County Schools say they can can no longer legally take kids from schools to day cares.

The decision comes after two Attorney General decisions concluded if it costs the district money to take kids to day cares, schools can't do it.

Lilian Robinson is a mother of two. She said she has counted on the school to drop her child off at day care for the past two years.
"Now it's going to be hard because I'll have to either cut down my hours or figure out some other way of getting him from school," Robinson said.

DeSoto County Schools said it costs $200,000 to drop kids off at day cares.

Gary Kelly, owner of Kids R Kids, said he does not understand why.

"We watch four or five school buses drive right past our building, and if they lived across the street or here, they would drop a kid right off," Kelly said.

DeSoto County Schools said the bus system works a certain way: If a bus picks up a child before school, a bus that afternoon is required to have a seat open for that child on the way home. But if that child goes to daycare, he must ride a separate bus, even though his seat is still open, and even if the bus that picked him up goes right by his day care.

Kelly said the system does not make sense.
"We saw a Horn Lake bus across street. Why kids didn't ride on that one I don't know," Kelly said.

A DeSoto County Schools spokesperson said said the reason is because not every child's day care is on their bus route.  What's offered to one child, district officials said, must be offered to all.

"For two years it's been fine, and all of a sudden, they drop us out of the blue. Build us up to let us down," Robinson said.   

The School District said it is not leaving parents stranded.  For $65 a week, it is offering an After School program open until 6:00 on school days.

Click here to e-mail Lori Brown.

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