SHEFFIELD — A city councilwoman is leading a fundraising effort that would provide transportation for students who sometimes remain home because they have no way to get to school.
Not long after she was elected to represent District 4, Penny Freeman said she started getting calls from people who were having trouble getting their children to school.
The Sheffield School System has buses but they only transport children to Threadgill Primary School, which is kindergarten to second grade. Parents are responsible for getting third- to 12th-grade students to school.
“For some of the people I spoke to, buying a car is just not an option at this point,” Freeman said.
So she began some discussions with the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments to utilize NACOLG buses to transport students from school and pick them up when classes are dismissed
She said there have been truancy issues in the school system and some of it, Freeman said, is the result of students not being able to get to school.
Freeman said it would cost about $20 per day to transport a bus load of 18 students to and from school. She’s trying to raise $3,600 to cover transportation for the school year, which is 180 days. Right now, the cost would amount to a little more than $1 a day per student.
Superintendent of Education Keith Lankford said the school system is in the preliminary stages of examining transportation options.
“Every system is having attendance issues,” Lankford said. “The lack of transportaion for some of our students contribues to that.”
Providing a consistent method of transportation for students could help improve attendance, he said.
He said the school system does not have the resources to run bus routes for all students at this time. The state Board of Education will not reimburse the system for picking up students who live within two miles of a…