MIDDLEVILLE, Mich.,– The controversial video quickly made waves on the FOX 17 Facebook page, showing Thornapple-Kellogg students from middle to high school jam-packed in a school bus, sitting way to close for comfort.
After that video, dozens of parents reached out to FOX 17 saying the same thing is happening in their district. We learned though, they aren’t violating the law. Federal guidelines recommend three to a seat for elementary students only; otherwise they say it should be two students per seat.
The Michigan Pupil Transportation Act 187 states that after the fourth Friday following Labor Day of each school year. A bus shall not be used to transport more than 100% of the number of persons for which the school bus has a rated seating capacity.
We sat down with State Senator Rick Jones, who said while he understands parents’ concerns he also understands the law too.
“The start of the school year you don’t know how many high school kids are going to drive, how many parents will drive their kids to school. You simply have no way of knowing for sure how many to have a bus route for,” he said.
He said it would be very difficult to change the law because of that, but said he does think schools should have it all figured out within that first week.
When we checked back in with the superintendent at Thornapple-Kellogg he said they took the matter to heart and found a solution. They provided the students on that bus with another route. Superintendent Tom Enslen also added that lack of funding is a problem, especially with public transportation. He says there isn’t money there to help alleviate the issue.