Tonawanda News

Columns

February 15, 2014

TUCKER: Diocese offers odd suggestion

Tonawanda News — Irritation

It’s not often that someone from out of the Tonawandas writes to refute what’s in this column. But Christian Riso, assistant superintendent of government programs for the Diocese of Buffalo took exception to my columns about busing students from North Tonawanda to St. Francis School in the City of Tonawanda.

Riso’s said that “it would seem that the problem is not the lack of a Catholic school in the Tonawandas, but the refusal of the public school boards in the Twin Cities to extend busing to Catholic school students beyond city lines. I would imagine that the good citizens of these cities should petition the civic community to provide busing in the same way that the surrounding public school districts do, so that children can attend a Catholic elementary school beyond the city line. Although the Tonawandas are not prohib­ited by state law from extending busing, they have chosen not to do so, and the parents, who are taxpayers and help fund public education, and who feel they have no choice in education, should be looking at those boards to vent their frustration.”

Too bad Mr. Riso didn’t research NT’s out of district busing policy because, if he had, he would have seen the following NT policy. It reads:

“Resident students who attend private or parochial schools outside the District and desire District transportation to and from those schools must request such transportation by April 1 of the school year preceding the transportation need. In such cases, the District will provide NFTA bus passes.”

Now, isn’t that a good idea? Can’t you just see the young students (Pre-K to eighth-grade) waiting for an NFTA bus at 7 a.m. by themselves and then riding that bus with strangers to Tonawanda, be dropped off on Niagara Street (formerly “the circle”) and then walking by themselves to the school on Adam Street? Has Christian Riso ever been to NT or even ridden a bus? Wonder if Mr. Riso has ever been to North Tonawanda or, has ever had his children (if he has any) ride an NFTA bus to school.

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