Why Some Baltimore County Students Won't Be Catching The Bus This Year: Revised Walk Zone Policy
BALTIMORE COUNTY - Around 900 Baltimore County Students will now need to walk to school this academic year due to a revised policy from the Board of Education.
Last year, Baltimore County Public Schools expanded the "walk zone" from 1.5 miles to 1.7 miles for high school students and from 1 mile to 1.5 miles for middle schoolers. Students within the specified distances to their schools will not be provided bus service.
The new rules are being phased in, affecting high school students this year and middle school students the following year.
At a press conference on Wednesday, Superintendent Myriam Yarbrough clarified that the revised policy resulted from an extensive transportation study to optimize the efficiency of school bus routes.
The school system is facing a nationwide bus driver shortage, with around 50 positions vacant with less than a week to go before the start of the school year. BCPS has stated that all routes will be staffed for the beginning of the academic year.
Some parents have shared their concerns that the policy change was not adequately explained to residents. The Baltimore Banner reports that communication about the policy change was delegated to individual schools to avoid widespread confusion.