EDUCATION

Arlington bus mandate goes into effect

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There's a new bus system in Arlington County public schools and Jennifer Mulchandani, a public school parent, says she's losing sleep over it.

This year, a county-wide mandate says students who live less than a mile away from school can't take the bus. The goal is to alleviate jam-packed buses. The Mulchandani's are too close to ride.

"I'm not going to let them walk, it is not safe,” Mulchandani says.

Parents say their biggest concern is that children are walking along busy streets like Nelly Custis Drive. During midday, it sees minimal traffic but during the work week at rush hour is heavy with drivers.

"God forbid there's an accident and a child is hurt,” says Caitlin Clark, an Arlington parent.

Clark will be one of the walkers this year. she did a test run with her 5-year-old daughter last week.

Clark is one of 500 people who have signed the petition, and one of 100 people who have filed an appeal.

“I feel like I'm protecting them, I feel like I have a voice in the community, I feel like the Arlington public schools has not allowed us to have a voice,” Clark says.

In a statement, Arlington Public Schools say they apologize for any confusion and are offering parents the chance to appeal online.

But just 10 days from the first day of school, parents are posting that it's a sour start to the year.

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