As the school year approaches, parents and board seek bus deal

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:15

    Byram-While back-to-school shopping has begun, some parents in Byram still do not know how their children are going to get to school come September. The busing service to daycare centers in Byram, which was canceled by the municipality recently, has not yet been resolved. In late June, the Byram Board of Education terminated its bus service to and from two local daycare facilities. Children attending Creative Kidkare and Building Blocks daycare were affected by the decision. In early July, affected parents held a meeting to come out with transportation options for their children. At the meeting, School Board President Walter Stanek said that the school board would readdress the busing situation. In an interview on Monday Aug. 2, Creative Kidkare owner Anneliese Tartell said that she was offered an unofficial verbal agreement by the school board to resume the bus service. However, she explained, the agreement did not cover students attending the Byram Lakes School. Tarell said that she would accept that deal of paying the transportation costs of the children attending her facility if the board would put the agreement in writing. "I don't have a choice, I cannot afford to lose 39 Byram Lakes children," said Tartell. "But as a parent myself, I still don't think that this is morally correct." One mother of Creative Kidkare children who wished to remain anonymous for this story said that she felt Tartell should not have to pay for the busing of township children. "If this thing is just about money, how come we were given all of those reasons when they first told us they were canceling the busing," said the woman. "What happened to the safety issues and the advice they said they had from an attorney?" Some parents said that the school board has discriminated against working parents and have threatened to file a lawsuit against the board. A deadline of July 26 for filing the lawsuit passed without action from the parents. School officials were unavailable for contact for this story, however, Stanek did leave a call back message with The Township Journal confirming that a deal had yet to be reached regarding the busing issue. "We do not have a resolution yet, we are trying to find some options that we can go through," said Stanek in the recording. For her part, Tartell agrees on that assessment. "Until something is in writing, I'm doing nothing," said Tartell. "It's totally up in the air right now."