Ohio Department of Education finds DPS in ‘non-compliance’ over busing issues

The Ohio Department of Education slapped Dayton Public Schools (DPS) with a “non-compliance” finding after state investigators found DPS in violation of state requirements on 56 different days.

This entire school year, DPS have maintained that they have plenty of bus drivers and buses, but many charter schools in our area have complained that their buses and students were not showing up on time.

“When parents don’t know where their kids are, what time the bus is coming, it’s a problem with the transpiration department,” Kira Warren said.

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Warren said she had problems counting on DPS to get her children to Horizon Science Academy right from the beginning of the school year. She was just one of dozens of parents expressing concerns. Her charter school’s principal, Alysse Pennington, agreed and called the situation a nightmare.

“It got to the point where a lot of parents would have to transport their students on their own,” Pennington said. “There was a lot of carpooling or they would end up withdrawing their student because of the lack of transportation.

Pennington said buses would sometimes be two hours late for the start of school, two hours late after school or not show up at all. She called, emailed and went to the school board meetings, then she took her concerns to the Department of Education.

The department launched an investigation and this week wrote the district, stating that “The department finds Dayton Public Schools failure to transport eligible students and failure to pick up student no later than 30 minutes after school for 56 days to be consistent non-compliance.” Complaints involved five different charter and non-public schools.

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In their findings, the Department of Education said their findings will require them to make adjustments to the district’s transportation payments.

“They talked about withholding some funds, I don’t necessarily know where that would go,” Pennington told News Center 7.

She said she’s seen small improvements in the district’s busing. She’s glad the Department of Education made it clear they will keep monitoring and feels the investigation vindicates the concerns she raised.

News Center 7 reached out to the district on Friday by phone and email, but did not get a reply. District officials told us earlier this school year that they are striving to meet state requirements.