School, Neighborhood Safety Advocates Look Toward New Academic Year

In her fiscal 2022 budget proposal, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) calls for money for an enhanced Safe Passage program to provide a microtransit system for students who live east of the Anacostia River.

Under the proposal, more than 200 adults associated with more than 40 District schools would help guide the students in their daily commutes.

With the fiscal year starting in October however, the enhanced program wouldn’t start until next January — much to the chagrin of student safety advocates.

In response, members of a State Board of Education (SBOE) committee have called on District leaders to provide resources that could get the enhanced Safe Passage program started as early as August.

“We want students to feel safe on the first day of school. I don’t think it’s intentional [but] our city leaders get stuck into the government timeline that doesn’t align with our school schedule,” said Dr. Carlene Reid, the Ward 8 State Board of Education representative.

On July 7, Reid and her board colleagues sent D.C. Council Chairperson Phil Mendelson (D) a letter asking that the D.C. Council does its part to get the enhanced Safe Passage program started at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school

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