E-Alerts & Press Releases

Free Transportation OKed for Homeless Students

Local Free transportation OK’d for homeless students Luke Broadwater, The Examiner 2008-06-14 16:26:00.0 Current rank: # 65 of 10,027 BALTIMORE - Homeless students who move throughout Baltimore County can receive free transportation to their old school, under the settlement to a federal lawsuit a judge approved Friday. “It’s about educational stability,” said Sally Dworak-Fisher, an attorney for the Public Justice Center, which sued Baltimore County Public Schools over the treatment of homeless students. “They can remain at the same school with free transportation or they can move to a new school. It’s about keeping them in school even through they have housing crisis.” U.S. District Judge Catherine Blake approved of the settlement Friday, ending a two-year-old suit filed by four homeless students and their parents who argued county school officials violated federal regulations that require help in school transportation and enrollment for homeless students. Kara Calder, a county schools spokeswoman, said school officials were glad to reach a settlement that avoided a trial. “Baltimore County has identified over 1,200 homeless students, and that’s predicted to go up with the mortgage foreclosure,” Dworak-Fisher said. “This settlement should improve their enrollment in school.” The settlement requires the county to work harder to identify homeless students, provide a choice in schools and start transportation within four days after the student is identified as homeless. The school system can provide a school bus, pay for public transportation or a taxi, or give the parent gas money, according to the settlement. Baltimore County also agreed to pay the homeless students’ attorneys $145,000 in costs. The Public Justice Center will monitor county schools for two years to make sure they are complying with the agreement. Examiner Staff Writer Jaime Malarkey contributed to this report. lbroadwater@baltimoreexaminer.com Examiner

« Back