For those taxpayers with second homes on gorgeous stretches of oceanfront property, season tickets to Giants games and other rarely questioned entitlements of a privileged life richly deserved in their own minds, and to the spouses, siblings and seeds who may share their deficit-phobic view that public schools are ripping us off by breaking the City’s bank, I have intoxicating news.
The City is spending $ 17 million for 270 yellow-bus routes to transport homeless kids from around 300 shelters to about 750 public schools where they will be treated with open arms, open hearts and open minds. As will around 800 older homeless kids who are receiving free MetroCards.
There’s no better for value than investing in human infrastructure. Through education all other projects are possible.
The sobering news is that this expansion of bus service is due to the steep and shameful climb in the number of homeless students and those marginally coping with temporary housing. Just in the last year, there’s been a 77% leap in the number of homeless kids needing bus transportation to school. That’s a dramatic and disturbing indictment.
We know who the enablers of indigence are. But decent people are still in the electoral majority in this town and this time we will hold policy-makers’ feet to the fire.
The Department of Education has been providing yellow-bus service from kindergarten through sixth grade only since 2016. Better late than never.
The participation of these homeless kids in the glorious pursuit of education assures us that some of them harbor gifts that have not yet been tapped or discovered, but are dormant awaiting awakening to serve and improve the world one day.
Many of history’s geniuses endured social and economic hardship and active persecution or passive oppression by lack of opportunity. They were despised, dismissed and roofless. They cane from various shades of the dark ages that have mired civilizations in many times and places., Yet they are among the greatest artists, scientists, explorers, athletes, inventors, religious and secular leaders.
But even in retrospect, there is no romance or glamour to their plight and all excuses to accept such deprivation have eroded.
We are a sanctuary city for education. Let’s travel in spirit with our kids from their homeless shelters to the asylums of equality. It is the only route to the only destination that is an open thoroughfare to generations of conscience