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When School Is Back, But School Buses Aren’t

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Charell Peterkin walked her two daughters to their bus stops in Williamsburg on the first day of school Monday, her 7-year-old excited to return to a fully reopened school for the first time since the pandemic began. At 7:15 a.m. she was supposed to hop on a bus, then Peterkin was going to walk her 10-year-old daughter about a block away where she would pick up another bus five minutes later. Instead, the three of them waited a half hour for the first bus, which never showed up. That wait caused her older daughter to miss her bus to school altogether.

Peterkin’s tight schedule was derailed, forcing her to take the kids to Compass Charter School in Fort Greene by the L train and transfer to the G. The mishap happened again on Tuesday, forcing her to be late for work twice. She kept her kids at home on Wednesday to avoid being late again, even though they’d be marked absent.

“The government gave out money for everything else, but they forgot about the children and childcare,” said Peterkin. “If there’s no busing, I can’t work.” Peterkin knew the first day back would be crazy, and she even quit her job as a postal worker to find a gig that accommodates working from home to quarantine should a student or teacher in her kids’ classes contract COVID. Now she’s looking for overnight remote work in case she needs to keep driving her kids to school. For now, Peterkin found someone to accompany her kids on Friday, but she’s not sure what she’ll do next week. “We are in a pandemic, and........

© Daily Intelligencer

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