Mother fighting busing policy
DES MOINES (AP) — An Iowa mother is fighting the Des Moines school district over a policy she says would force her 11-year-old daughter to walk nearly two dangerous, traffic-laden miles to school.
Jessica Bilotta told The Des Moines Register she’s worried for her daughter’s safety. Bilotta, a single parent, lives 1.7 miles from Merrill Middle School. Her daughter, Madison, will have to find some way to cross Interstate Highway 235 from a high-traffic area near her home on 64th Street on the west side.
“It’s boiling down to me having to move ... and I really can’t afford to move,” Jessica Bilotta said.
Elementary and middle-school students can ride public school buses for free only if they live two or more miles from their school. High school students must live at least three miles away.
Bilotta said administrators denied her request to drop her daughter off before her job starts at 7 a.m. and pick her up after she finishes work at 4 p.m.