Benjamin Franklin High School’s board of directors is hoping to raise $25,000 to help pay for the cost of a yellow school bus for its students commuting from eastern New Orleans.

The selective-admission high school normally gives out gives out bus tokens and transfer passes to students so they can use New Orleans Regional Transit Authority buses.

But parents of students commuting from eastern New Orleans said their students’ bus rides were too long with too many connections.

Initially, all school leaders could find was a bus that would cost $100,000 a year. But board member Gary Ostroke said parents were able to find a provider for almost half that, at just $55,000.

At Thursday night’s meeting, Ostroske, who has been working as a liaison between the school and the group of parents, said parents had raised over half the cost for the bus service.

Ostroske said parents have been able to pitch in roughly $600 per student and have raised about $30,000. Now, Ostroske said he has identified 50 to 60 potential donors that he hopes will help cover the remaining cost.

“I don’t think the $25,000 will be much of an issue,” Ostroske said.

Member Susan Weeks praised Ostroske’s work. She said she was impressed he was able to turn the difficult situation into a positive one.

“All of us wanted the same thing and we just had different paths to get there,” said Ostroske.

The board concluded its meeting in with an executive session to evaluate CEO Timothy Rusnak.

Marta Jewson

Marta Jewson covers education in New Orleans for The Lens. She began her reporting career covering charter schools for The Lens and helped found the hyperlocal news site Mid-City Messenger. Jewson returned...