Long bus ride

It’s August. There’s no air-conditioning or bathrooms on these buses. For those children with physical or medical needs, there’s no medication available and no nurse on duty. Two hours. Think about the impacts of this debacle in the coming winter months. If schools need to be dismissed due to ice or snow, how many of these kids will actually make it home when it takes two hours on a good day? How many buses get stranded roadside during this ridiculous commute? How about the safety issues involved in having four kids crammed into a single seat, simply because our buses are now required to pick up children at three different schools due to a lack of funding and resources?

These are the realities…and these realities are unacceptable for our children.

It’s just the first day, but realistically, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. With an additional school to account for, severely reduced budget, and six less bus drivers in the county, this is just the first of many backend episodes that will continue to rear its ugly head throughout the school year. Couple this with an increasing student population and a county leadership that has openly and condescendingly opposed level-funding, let alone increases, in the school budget for the foreseeable future. The stage is set for crises that will only continue to multiply over time.

This county has unique problems that require unique solutions. Catering to Richmond or DC, in the name of a national political ideology, is not going to solve these problems. It will serve only to continue this county’s path towards increasingly dire consequences at the expense of our children.

If the merely caring about the education and well-being of my children makes me the “socialist lunatic” that I, as well as many other tax-paying constituents, have been painted by members our of county’s leadership, so be it. I’m more than comfortable going to bed at night knowing that I will fight tooth-and-nail to ensure that my children have at least the same opportunities that I was presented with in my education, rather than sitting around waiting for party lines to determine their future.

I’m not alone in believing that the children of the county deserve better than what they have been getting from this county’s leadership. Our children deserve better. Better than being used as leverage for someone’s personal political vendetta. Better than some spin doctor’s “Taj Mahal” punch-line. I am Fluvanna…and my children most certainly are as well.

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