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PR- 311-07
August 26, 2007


The following is the text of Mayor Bloomberg's weekly radio address as prepared for delivery on 1010 WINS News Radio for Sunday, August 26, 2007

"Good Morning. This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg.

"At this point in the summer, a lot of students may not want to be reminded that the new school year is just around the corner. But the fact is that the first day of classes in our public schools is only nine days from today. And if you happen to be new to New York City, or your child is new to the public school system, and you don't know which school he or she should attend, starting tomorrow you can go to one of 15 student registration centers around the City. Call 311 or visit the City's web site at to learn more about the process and to find a registration center convenient to you.

"Our Department of Education  is also taking extra steps this year to make sure that more students will be able to ride school buses, and that they all get to school, and home again, safely.

"Last school year, more than 51,000 public school general education students in kindergarten through 6th grade rode school buses. They were joined by thousands more special education students of all ages, as well as by nearly 30,000 students attending religious, private, and charter schools. Every student eligible for a school bus seat last year and who is still in those lower grades will remain eligible this year, too, unless their families have moved so close to school that students don't need transportation help.

"In addition, new DOE rules this school year will make it easier for more of our youngest students to qualify for bus service. For the first time, every student in kindergarten through second grade who lives a half-mile or more from school will be eligible for bus service, if their parents or guardian request it, and if the school is in their home district and has existing school bus service. In years gone by, students also had to live within a quarter-mile of an existing school bus stop in order to qualify for bus service; this year, that requirement has been dropped. To register youngsters for bus service, or find out about bus stops and routes, or answer other questions, you should go to the principal's office in your child's school. And remember: If you're not eligible for bus service, please make other plans to get your children to school.

"Safety in school, and on our school buses, is a basic right for students. So this year, the Department of Education also will have more investigators assigned to promptly review complaints of disorderly behavior by students, drivers, and monitors on the buses, and to see that infractions are punished. The procedures for investigating such complaints have been tightened up, and DOE officials have made sure that the companies operating school buses, and the union representing their employees, understand the new rules.

"A quintessential New Yorker, Woody Allen, once said that '80% of success is showing up.' There's a lot of truth to that - and because we want all our students to succeed, our Department of Education is taking these new steps to help our youngest students show up for school safely, and on time, every day of the new school year.

"This is Mayor Mike Bloomberg. Thanks for listening."


Stu Loeser   (212) 788-2958

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