It was a chaotic scene this afternoon outside the Viscardi School for children with disabilities in Nassau County. Because of the school bus strike students from New York City who normally are driven here by bus with a driver and a medically trained matron have had to find new transportation. That is not easy for the families of the severely disabled students who Attend Viscardi.
Chayy Amattie uses two different ambulette services from the Lower East Side to bring her son Malke here for school.
Viscardi, a state and privately funded school, provides unique schooling for children with disabilities. It is filled with special equipment and has intense supervision. Only 30 of the usual 100 students from New York City have been able to attend class here during the bus strike.
Some parents say have to skip work and worried about losing jobs.
Tracy Ehrlich's daughter Hanna has cerebral palsy and must be supervised constantly. So far she has been car pooled because another student's father is unemployed and can drive them, otherwise it s's $250 a day for transportation. Tracy blames the mayor, saying that he has no idea what students going through parents going through.
The city has provided vouchers to pay for ambulettes. But so far there are not enough ambulettes to drive the students to Viscardi.
Mayor Mike Bloomberg has consistently noted this is a dispute between the bus drivers and the bus companies not the city of New York.
The department of education said it has been meeting with the Viscardi school and are working together on a variety of transportation options for the students affected.