ON-Lion Letter

In November, the Racine Unified School District agreed to resolve a busing dispute with families represented by the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL) that threatened to leave students who attend private schools through Wisconsin’s voucher program without safe transportation to and from school.

WILL had been retained by parents of children who attend a private school in the Racine Parental Choice Program -- Shanna Fredericks, Alexandra Fliess, and Kedzie Blanton -- in their dispute with the District.  These parents, like many others with children in the Racine program, were not receiving free busing from the District, as required under state law.  

WILL notified Superintendent Lolli Haws and the school board that they had until November 13, 2015, to amend their transportation policies, lest the matter be resolved in court, which would have cost taxpayers thousands of dollars.  Nearly a week after WILL threatened legal action, the District agreed to change its position and will provide free transportation to children who attend private schools. 

"I'm pleased that RUSD has agreed to resolve this impasse promptly and equitably," WILL associate counsel and director of education policy CJ Szafir said.  "Whether a student enrolls at a public school or a private school, the State Legislature has always seen it appropriate as a matter of safety and fairness that children can get to and from their school."

State law requires school districts to provide transportation options to children who attend private schools and further provides resources for the explicit purpose of providing busing to voucher students.

The District also agreed to reimburse the families for any fees that they had been charged for transportation costs. 

The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee substantially supports WILL.


 

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