‘It’s discrimination’: Outcry from parents of CCISD special needs students over end to some daycare transportation

Parents say Clear Creek ISD stopped bus rides to daycare

Several parents with special needs students in Clear Creek ISD are upset with the district over what they say is a change in transportation for their children to and from a facility that provides specialized care.

In November 2021, Distinct Abilities Children’s Center moved to a new location on Blossom Road in Webster that put them outside of CCISD’S transportation zone for 22 students.

“We moved five miles up the road. We are still in the district,” said Ernestine Rodriguez, executive director of Distinct Abilities.

The district continued to provide transportation services to and from Distinct Abilities’ new location from November to May 2022. But said it would not continue doing so in the new school year.

“Nothing has changed with our transportation process. The only thing that changed is this particular daycare has moved its location outside the radius. We certainly feel for families in this situation. If we had a plethora of bus drivers and buses we would be glad to move students all around 110 square miles we cover,” said district spokeswoman Elaina Polsen

Distinct Abilities added three new vehicles to its own fleet to try to ease the transportation problems.

“It’s something that has costs us but we want to do everything that we can to be able to help these parents,” Rodriguez told KPRC2 News.

But even now, they can’t pick up every student because some have medical needs that require a second adult on the bus, staffing they don’t have.

Parents, including many who are single working moms, say the change has been disruptive to their already delicately balanced schedules of care and therapies for their children.

“It’s hard. We go home and we fight 10 times more of these battles with these children, this shouldn’t be a battle that we have to fight. Just because he has special needs doesn’t mean he needs to be discriminated against. You need to figure out how to help these children, that’s your job” said Amber Dowling whose 7-year-old son has attended the daycare since he was 3.

Representatives for the district and the daycare told KPRC 2 they were willing to come together to try to find a solution. We’ll keep you posted.

About the Author:

Emmy-winning journalist, native Houstonian, reader, dancer, yogi.