MPS assures no issues anticipated with transporting second wave of students for in-person learning

Posted at 8:05 AM, Apr 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-19 18:34:34-04

The next round of Milwaukee Public Schools students have the option to return to in-person learning on April 19. This is the second of three waves of students returning to the classroom this month.

Some students in grades 4 through 8 will be back in the classroom. Those students will join the other younger students who returned last week.

District leaders are saying they're confident that there won't be any issues in getting those kids to school, after last week's school bus fail that left students stranded and families scrambling.

Families and teachers across the city are hoping the administration is right in saying they've worked out all of the issues regarding transportation.

Last week, dozens of school bus routes were canceled on the first day back for kindergarten through third-grade students.
TMJ4 News heard from school bus companies who said the district didn't give them enough time to rehire and retain the number of bus drivers needed, following a year of cuts and furloughs due to the pandemic.

At least one company also said MPS did not pay them.

MPS released this statement in response to that claim saying in part, "Milwaukee Public Schools compensated all bus contractors for 60%, through the end of the 2020 to 2021 school year. This was done despite companies not providing services to students nor was the district contractually obligated to do so."

A Wisconsin School Bus Association spokesperson released the following statement in response, "I wanted to clarify MPS' statement was misquoting the school year they paid. MPS compensated bus contractors 60% of contracts to conclude the 2019-2020 school year. For the 2020-2021 school year, MPS did not pay anything while they were closed."

MPS clarified that payment was for the 2019-20 school year, not the 2020-21 school year as they had previously stated.

The district is now saying everything should run smoothly Monday.

One week from Monday, high school seniors and underclassmen in danger of failing will also gain the option to return to school.

They will be the final group to come back under the district's current reopening plan.

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