KOB-TV.com - By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4 - It was a big day, the first day of school for some pre-K kids in Santa Fe. One little girl was ready to go, standing at the bus stop, but her father called KOB Eyewitness News 4 because of what happened next.
Today was four-year-old Laney Roberts' first day at Turquoise Trail Charter School in Santa Fe. That first day didn't start out the way she or her father were expecting. Albert Roberts is a single dad, raising Laney and her six-year-old sister on his own. He was really counting on being able to send Laney to pre-K on the bus this morning. But she wasn't able to get on.
Santa Fe District Transportation Officials told Roberts it's state law. Students have to be at least 5 years old to ride a school bus. That means pre-K kids like Laney have to find their own way to school. KOB asked Laney if she wanted to ride. "Mmm hmm, because my sister rides on the bus."
Albert said it's not just a seat on the bus. This could be a road block for his daughter's education. "It forces me in the position of either not being able to work or me pulling my child out of school until she's old enough to ride the bus," Albert said. "A seat on the bus. Not asking for a special bus, I'm not asking for a special route, I'm not asking for a special stop. All I want is a seat on the bus for my youngest."
The State's Public Education Department told KOB district superintendents have the final say on the issue. They say if there's an open seat, the Santa Fe Superintendent can give the okay for Laney to ride with her sister. A Santa Fe Public Schools spokeperson told KOB the district doesn't receive funding for kids under the age of five. They'll have to look into the issue. More