SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, recently passed legislation out of the House to provide free transportation to students who live close to their school but face a dangerous commute through high-crime areas.
“Some students are forced to walk through high crime areas on their commute to and from school and unfortunately this puts our students in unnecessarily dangerous situations,” said Greenwood. “Our students deserve to feel safe when commuting to school and this legislations aims to provide safe transportation for students in need.”
Greenwood’s House Bill 5195 passed out of the House chamber with bipartisan support. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, Greenwood’s measure would allow school districts outside the city of Chicago to provide a safe passage to and from school by providing free transportation to students who live in a high-crime area within a mile and a half of their school. Under Greenwood’s initiative, school districts could earn a reimbursement to help cover the cost of transportation. Chicago, which has already implemented a similar program, saw evidence of success from this initiative and saw an increase in overall school attendance by seven percent.
“I believe it is important that we provide our most vulnerable students with the resources needed to feel safe and to reduce the boundaries that may limit students from attending school,” said Greenwood. “I look forward to working with the Senate to make this proposal a reality for the students who will benefit from it.”