Ohio’s public school buses are traveling farther each year to pick up fewer kids, and it’s costing taxpayers more money.
It’s an unintended consequence of school choice. State officials have forced traditional public schools to crisscross their cities to pick up and deliver children to privately run charter schools, often while cutting transportation to their own kids.
The cost for the door-to-door service is significant: About 44 percent more per child, according to an analysis of statewide data.
A child attending a traditional public school and transported on a district bus cost on average $4.30 per day in 2012. The average cost for a charter-school student: $6.18, or $1.88 more per day.
Since then, 22,000 more children have enrolled in charter schools, the state has stopped helping school districts buy new buses and other state transportation assistance has failed to keep pace with costs.