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Lawmaker calls for aides on school buses

WBFO File Photo

Erie County Legislator Patrick Burke is proposing legislation that would mandate aides on all school buses.

The South Buffalo Democrat says lawyers are divided on whether or not the county can mandate aides but he wants it on the table and in front of the public for a debate on the issue.

"There's been several instances in the last year of assault, abuse and now recently the tragic events in Springville where a seven-year-old girl lost her life," Burke said.

"In all of those situations, they would have probably not happened if there was an adult supervisor on the bus and there wasn't."

Burke says he remembers what it was like on school buses he rode as a youth and stories from his kids about the morning and afternoon rides suggest not much has changed.

"In schools, you have student to teacher ratios. In day care, you have day-care assistants to children ratios. Well, in the school buses, they just pack them in there and everyone just hopes they get home okay. And, sometimes it doesn't happen."

Buffalo doesn't have aides on all buses, with cost of aides on hundreds of buses an issue.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.