Re: “Seattle’s lack of school bus service leaves scores of students at home” [May 10, Education Lab]:
I am a teacher at the Seattle World School, the Seattle Public Schools’ school for recent immigrant students mentioned in the article. Our students — nearly all English learners, Black or Brown, and low-income — come from all over Seattle and endure grueling commutes to attend school, some over two hours by bus each way. As newcomers, our students — who have already endured and experienced so much in immigrating to the U.S. — are already struggling to make ends meet and are statistically among the most likely in the district to drop out of school. And as newcomer English learners, they benefit greatly from in-person instruction.
And yet, since returning in-person, our attendance has dropped as students struggle with transportation. Uber-like services like Hop Skip Ride are booked up, seats taken mostly by — from what I see on my bike to school — families who are wealthier, better-connected and white.
This is an unconscionable educational inequity: The students with greatest educational need are left without any reasonable transportation options to get to school. If SPS truly believes (as it often states) in engaging in anti-racist work, it seems that ensuring all students can physically get to school is a bare minimum.
Jonas Crimm, Seattle