State steps in to halt busing crisis at Huntington School District
School buses were running on a modified schedule in Huntington after a transportation company said it was going to cancel its contract with the district.
On Wednesday, the bus company said it would be cutting dozens of routes with less than 24 hours' notice and it will end contracts with the district by Oct. 8. Contracts were set to be in place until 2024.
The district sent out a letter informing parents that as of Thursday, the company would no longer cover as many as 42 morning and 32 afternoon routes for Huntington's public and private schools, relating it back to the national driver shortage.
On Thursday afternoon, the superintendent sent another letter saying, "I am relieved to inform you that...the bus company will honor the terms and conditions associated with all existing contracts."
Elected officials as high up as Gov. Kathy Hochul's office say they were working with the district to figure out a solution to make sure every student in Huntington schools can get to their classrooms every day.
It included trying to work with the contracted bus company, Huntington Coach Corporation, and determining if another company will be needed to step in.
Parents of students in the district said this has been confusing and stressful but that they've gotten used to adjusting.
An emergency Board of Education meeting took place Thursday night at the Jack Abrams school, as a way for district officials scramble to hopefully remedy the problem.
At the meeting, Superintendent James Polansky said Gov. Kathy Hochul's office came through with assistance.
He explained, "I did receive a list of over 1,800 drivers in New York state that I did share with them. That came directly from the state. Maybe other sources that they're drawing from as well."
For Friday, district officials say families can expect the same bus delays and cancellations as Thursday, but they say full service should be back Monday morning.
Going forward the district says it will communicate with families if any delays are imminent on any given day.