Seattle Taxpayers Foot Bill for Students’ Pricey Rides to School

KIRO TV, April 29, 2013

Every school day, while tens of thousands of Seattle Public Schools students wait at bus stops, KIRO 7 learned some 300 other students are chauffeured to school.

Private drivers pick them up from their front doors and drive them to school in taxi cabs and pricey Lincoln Town Cars.

And Seattle taxpayers are picking up the fares, which are estimated to be $1 million a year.

The Seattle School District, which has been criticized for the expense of cabs in audits for years, tells KIRO 7 the cab rides are necessary to comply with a little-known federal law.

If a student is forced to move to transitional housing because of economic hardship, The McKinney-Vento Homeless Education Assistance Act requires the school district to provide transportation to and from the student’s original school.

“The point of the law is to keep students in a consistent learning environment, to overcome the instability of being displaced from their homes,” said Dinah Ladd, the district’s McKinney-Vento homeless student liaison. “We don’t have enough shelters for all the students in transition,” Ladd said, admitting many of the students could live in private homes, far outside the district boundaries.


KIRO 7 investigators followed one taxi carrying two students from Seattle’s Beacon Hill to Bothell, where they are cared for by their grandmother. The trip is more than 60 miles round trip, and costs taxpayers more than $100 every day.

“I’m not that gung-ho on cabs,” said their grandmother, Yolanda. “It is a premium service. I didn’t expect for it to be as expensive as it is, but I’m like, whatever way you can drive them to be cost effective, I would gladly support that,” she said.” “I was wondering how long it would last.”

KIRO 7 investigators found other big districts, like Tacoma, use no cabs at all to comply with the law. They use their own buses to transport students as far away as Yelm, at a great savings, compared to cabs. {snip}


KIRO 7 talked to cab drivers who compete for the right to drive one student to school for an entire year.

“It’s good money,” said Hassan Almi, a driver who enters a company lottery to “win” a student.

“It could be more than $200 a day.  Some trips are longer,” he said.


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  • a multiracial individual

    Pacific Nortwesterners appear to going down the same path as the Minnesota people.

  • Michael_C_Scott

    Does this mean the school district there does not have the little, short-wheelbase school buses that virtually every other district in the nation possesses?

    • Andy

      My district sends full-sized buses now so retarded kids aren’t stigmatized.

      • Michael_C_Scott

        If they’re genuinely retarded, how did they know they were being stigmatized? My suspicion is that some of the adults in your district decided they wanted to pretend to be “offended” over the matter.

    • MikeS

      The short bus, aka the “sweet pickle.”

  • Andy

    I have PTSD. I recently attended a group supposedly for mental health issues, but everyone else was there for drugs. A lot of them were driven back and forth in taxis, on the taxpayer’s dime. A good portion openly admitted to being welfare cheats, too.

    • Nathanwartooth

      You can get on the whole shebang of government benefits if you claim to be bipolar. If you have a history of drug abuse, it’s an easy one.

  • The__Bobster

    KIRO 7 investigators found other big districts, like Tacoma, use no cabs at all to comply with the law. They use their own buses to transport students as far away as Yelm, at a great savings, compared to cabs.

    Great savings at 3-4 MPG? Hell, $100 for a 60-mile trip sounds like a bargain in comparison.

  • The__Bobster

    It’s good money,” said Hassan Almi, a driver who enters a company lottery to “win” a student.

    Another ragtop doing a job that Americans refuse to do.

  • Why am I supposed to be upset? Isn’t this what the people of Seattle want? Pay up, Seattle! I want you to. Have you finally paid off your student loan for your B.A. in Philosophy, or are you too busy planning your protest at the next Amren convention?

    • Michael_C_Scott

      Seattleites with B.A.s in philosophy end up slinging coffee and bagels at Starbucks, and would never be able to afford gas for a round-trip to Nashville. Liberals also have self-righteousness the way dogs have halitosis, so a protest carpool of that length – 2431 road miles each way – wouldn’t work; they’d end up fighting. Not even a liberal could tolerate three days in a car each way with three other liberals.

    • Nathanwartooth

      Nah they went to Evergreen, a college with no grades and got a “degree” in either Social Activism or a generic B.A.

      I had to attend a graduation ceremony there because my sister graduated from there. It was a farce to say the least.

  • bigone4u

    You can bet the taxi drivers and limo owners are not white. I congratulate our anti-white traitors in government for figuring out a new way to screw us. Don’t be surprised my little Marxists when we figure out ways to screw you.

    • pcmustgo

      Hmmm, in the Pacific North West white people still do a lot of such jobs… I knew a white female bus driver from Portland Oregon.

      • Aspiring rapper

        Watch the video: almost everyone was black including the taxi and limo drivers. Needless to say the “homeless” kids were also black (and living in a nice apartment instead of some homeless shelter.

      • Jefferson

        Here in California over 95 percent of public bus drivers in major metropolitan areas like the Bay Area and Los Angeles are Nonwhite.

        I am sure it is the same thing in the New York metropolitan area where you live. Am I right ?

  • concernedcollegekid

    The more time goes by, the more convinced I become that the government is trying to totally replace parenting with the government. Free breakfast in school, free taxi rides to school, militant feminism and egalitarianism in the schools… I was never told anything in public school about the importance of parenting or of being a “good parent”. Ever. A class along the lines of Home Economics would have been considered horribly offensive and would never have existed. According to public schools, everything that has ever worked for human families traditionally is “oppression” and all current societal problems are the fault of some institution not being big and far-reaching enough into people’s lives.

    /end rant. This is scary stuff though. I want to know if this use of money was ever voted on? I can’t imagine that it was… who decided this?

    • bigone4u

      In the world of government bureaucracy, success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. The standard excuse is, “just followed the law.” And in response to the rest of what you say, you are spot on and wise beyond your years. That wisdom will serve you well in life.

  • Luca

    I won’t go into the details but I once did research and contacted the City of Seattle regarding their policy on paying their contractor’ invoices. They did it in such a way that was absolutely idiotic, wasteful, illogical and allowed vendors to milk the system and win contracts while collecting higher than stated contract prices. When I explained to them the potential for waste and fraud they seemed unconcerned and nonchalant.

    How did you like the white administrator at the end unable to answer whether or not he knew that limos were more expensive than taxis? Did you notice the shifting gaze, eye blinking and gulping? Doesn’t take a lie detector now does it?

  • Smokin’ a blunt in the LTC (Lincoln Town Car) on the way to skoo, and on the da way back to da crib. Dats da way we roll.

  • Biff_Maliboo

    Simply being treated like the descendants of the True Kings and Queens of Mother Africa deserve to be.

    We rollin’! We rollin’! We rollin’!

    • Katherine McChesney

      Africans were never kings and queens in Egypt. Pharoahs were never black. Blacks were servants of royalty.

  • GeneticsareDestiny

    All that money spent on transportation alone, and most of those “homeless” (read: black) kids are still going to be reading at a 3rd grade level at age 18.

    Think about how much we could save if we weren’t subsidizing black failure. Imagine how much better the life of the average white person would be.

    • Aspiring rapper

      Not to mention that the “homeless” kids were being dropped off at apartment complexes. It’s not like they were living in cardboard boxes under a bridge. But they still get counted as “homeless” so more taxpayer money can be wasted on them!

      • GeneticsareDestiny

        Exactly. It’s just another way liberals try to inflate the meaning of a word to cover things it doesn’t. Like how “refugee” now means “anyone from a poor country who wants to go to a rich country”. Or how “hungry children” now means “obese minority children whose parents can’t afford to go out to eat every night”.

        “Homeless” never meant “kid who lives in an apartment with his grandmother,” but liberals are trying their best to force it to.

  • sbuffalonative

    With this kind of special treatment, I wonder how this affects their GPAs.

    • jambi19

      Minimal affect on GPA. The exact same effect as all the other special treatment.

      • sbuffalonative

        hmmmmm. According to Self-Esteem Theory, treating them like kings and queens should send their GPAs through the roof.
        I wonder if setting them apart for special treatment only exacerbates their feelings that they’re different.
        Maybe they need another theory.

  • Aspiring rapper

    Almost every person in that video benefiting from that program is BLACK – the kids, the taxi drivers, the “homeless student liaison”, etc. Yet Seattle itself is only 7.7% black!!

    • sbuffalonative

      When word gets out how well their kids are taken care of, you can expect that number to rise.

  • MikeS

    I’ll taxi them around, it just won’t be to school though.

  • bluffcreek1967

    I swear, our nation is completely retarded. Everything is upside down.

  • “homeless” stoodints can be dropped off anywhere. Why any trip is longer than 2 blocks escapes me.

  • Ella

    Can’t they take buses like most White people do in USA and Europe. I rode a few buses in Europe as they picked up groups of elementary students and did drop offs. They say we have White privilege??? What a big joke!

    • sbuffalonative

      That would cause long-term harm to their self-esteem.

    • The__Bobster

      Philly issues bus passes to its golliwog students. Those are busses I don’t want to ride.

  • guest

    This is one crazy country.

  • Paleoconn

    Well, at least the 100% White taxi industry is getting some business. I bet Hassan Almi, the good ol’ Scots-Irish cabbie, is happy.