Arlington Schools Not Backing Down On New Busing Rules

(image by Adam Fagen via flickr)

(Patrick Madden - Washington, DC, WAMU) Hundreds of parents in Virginia's Arlington County are appealing a new policy that will likely force more than 1,000 children who used to take the bus to school to walk instead this year.

Arlington schools plan to strictly enforce a walking zone for students, reports the Washington Post. That means elementary students living within a mile of school and secondary students within 1.5 miles of school aren't eligible for busing.

When the school system spelled out plans in August, many parents were angry, and 200 of them filed appeals. But only a few of those appeals have been successful, an ACPS spokeswoman told the Post. Donna Owens, the mother of a sixth grader, told the newspaper that many children will have to cross busy roads to get to school.

School officials argue they're addressing growing enrollment, because the bus system was reaching a crisis. There are an additional 1,000 students enrolled in the county's schools this year, according to Superintendent Patrick Murphy.