Louisville parents outraged after bus route snarl that canceled classes

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. logistical / loʊˈdʒɪs tɪkəl / (adj.) – relating to the careful preparation of a difficult activity

    The delay was caused by logistical problems.

  2. fume / fyum / (v.) – to show anger or be very angry

    He was fuming because of the heavy traffic on his way to work.

  3. sprawling / ˈsprɔ lɪŋ / (adj.) – relating to a place or area that’s been untidy as it spreads or grows over time

    The town became a sprawling city ever since big and small businesses started opening shops and offices.

  4. consulting / kənˈsʌl tɪŋ / (n.) – the practice of providing expert advice on a particular subject

    He managed to open a consulting business because of his many years of experience in an international shipping company.

  5. map out (something) / mæp aʊt / (phrasal v.) – to organize something such as a program in detail

    The manager maps out the agenda for the next meeting.


Read the text below.

An overly ambitious redesign of bus routes for Louisville’s school district turned into a logistical meltdown on the first day of classes, forcing schools to close.

Administrators said that students may have to stay home until the mess is untangled.

Parents were fuming and state politicians demanded answers after some of the district’s 96,000 students didn’t get picked up for school in the morning or got home hours late, with some arriving after dark.

Beau Kilpatrick has five kids attending schools in the district but said the only major transportation problems were with his elementary-school-aged children, two girls in the first and third grades. The morning bus was supposed to arrive at 8:38 a.m. but never came, he said. After half an hour of waiting, he drove them to the school a few miles away. In the afternoon, the bus was almost two hours late for pickup.

Kilpatrick said the children had to sit in a school hallway while waiting for the bus to arrive because the cafeteria was already full. Then the children weren’t dropped off until three hours later, at 9:15 p.m.

Berkley Collins, a mother of two students in the district, said her younger daughter was never assigned an afternoon bus and was left at her elementary school for hours. Collins said the district had plenty of time to implement its new bus plan, but failed.

It took just one disastrous day for Jefferson County Public Schools, a sprawling urban district and the largest in Kentucky, to reexamine the new bus routing system. The plan was designed by AlphaRoute, a Massachusetts-based consulting company that uses computer algorithms to map out courses and stops.

It could take a couple of days to resolve the problems enough to resume classes, Superintendent Marty Pollio said, promising to give parents plenty of notice before the start of the week.

The district has 65,000 bus riders, according to its website.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Who do you think should be held responsible for the bus route disruption, the school district administrators, AlphaRoute, or both? Why? Discuss.
  • If you were a school district administrator, what would you have done to avoid the bus route disruption? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How do you think the bus route disruption will affect parents’ trust in the school district’s ability to provide a safe environment for their children? Discuss.
  • Parents were fuming because of what happened with the bus route. If you were one of the parents, would you feel the same way? What would you do? Why? Discuss.