YMCA Before- & After-School Care to Expand at FWCS - March 19, 2015
Fort Wayne Community Schools and the YMCA are working together to expand before- and after-school child care options for parents as bus transportation is reduced to transport students to and from their primary home address only.
FWCS must reduce its transportation budget by $2.5 million annually beginning with the 2015-16 school year. The reduction is necessary because property tax caps, known as the Circuit Breaker, have prohibited FWCS from collecting more than $9 million for Transportation. This is expected to double by 2017. At the same time, expenses continue to increase.
To reduce expenses, FWCS will follow the No Transportation Zone (NTZ) policy that has been in effect since 1965, which limits transportation to students living outside a 1-mile radius for elementary school, a 1.5-mile radius for middle school and a 2-mile radius for high school. FWCS also will no longer transport students who choose to attend a school other than their geographically assigned school. Transportation will continue for magnet schools and high school Programs of Study for students living outside the established NTZ as the boundaries for those programs are the same as the FWCS district boundaries.
In addition, FWCS will only transport students to and from their primary home address. FWCS will no longer be able to transport students from one address in the morning and to a different address in the afternoon or to different addresses on different days. FWCS also will not be transporting students to and from daycare facilities.
“We understand these reductions will require families to make changes in their child-care arrangements,” Superintendent Dr. Wendy Robinson said. “We examined this aspect of transportation from every angle trying to find a way to make it work within our budget. The reality is property taxes are not keeping pace with the cost of such generous transportation and reductions must be made.”
To provide an alternative for parents, FWCS and the YMCA plan to expand before- and after-school care offered in the school buildings to 19 sites. Currently, the program is offered at nine schools: Arlington, Forest Park, Franke Park, Glenwood Park, Haley, Indian Village, Lincoln, Maplewood and Weisser Park. Next year, the YMCA plans to expand to Brentwood, Croninger, Harrison Hill, St. Joseph Central and Washington Center. Five additional schools are also being considered, including a site for pre-K care and a middle school site.
“We appreciate the YMCA working with us on expanding the locations with child-care offered,” Dr. Robinson said. “We hope this arrangement will provide parents with the child-care they need.”