TUSD changes plans to cut off bus service for special needs student

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TUSD changes plans to cut off bus service for special needs student

By Justin Schecker. CREATED Oct 31, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - What would you do if a school district said it planned to cut off bus service for your child?

Cherie Lennex reached out to 9 On Your Side because she was facing that exact dilemma.

Her 3-year-old son Nathan goes to Erickson Elementary School, where he's enrolled in Tucson Unified School District's Project ABLE for special needs students.

"This program will give him the therapies such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy that he needs regularly," Lennex said about her son, who has cerebral palsy and could be diagnosed with autism.

As a single working mom, Lennex relies on TUSD transportation to take her son to and from a Kinder Care Learning Center on Golf Links Road.

Earlier this year, TUSD buses would drop the children off at the Kinder Care parking lot and then drive through a dirt lot next to the center.    

But the owners of the empty plot of land spoke up and told the district you can no longer cut through.    

This week Nathan's bus has picked up and dropped him off down the road on the other side of a wash, but this was TUSD's temporary fix.

The district told Lennex starting Monday, her son's bus could no longer stop at the Kinder Care. 

"The only options I was given was to switch day cares or be paid 46 cents a mile to transport him myself," she said.

Nine on Your Side called TUSD's head of transportation Paul Larson multiple times Thursday. Before calling us back, he left Lennex a voice message saying the district now has a different plan. 

"It told me that he now has transportation," she said. "Starting monday, he's going to be transported by Handicar."  

"How relieved are you right now  that you're not gong to have to find another child care?" 9 On Your Side asked.

"You have no idea," Lennex said.  

This story was brought to our attention by viewers just like you. If you have a problem and want us to get involved, just ask and we'll do some digging. You can email us news@kgun.com or call (520)290-7726.