A Wednesday meeting of the Panel for Educational Policy in the Sunnyside section of Staten Island become heated when bus drivers and matrons voiced concerns about the ability of children to get to class safely during the ongoing school bus strike.
As the strike closes in on its third week, members from the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 said parents will not send their children to school via public transportation and are not using the reimbursement program.
"They feel like it's too much trouble for them to put the paperwork in, because they're not going to get their money back, or they're going to have to wait forever to get their money back and they're too consumed with how they're going to get their kids to school," said bus matron MaryAnn Bruccoleri.
In response to complaints, the Department of Education is now reimbursing parents who can demonstrate need for all trips to and from school.
School Chancellor Dennis Walcott said about 3,500 reimbursement forms citywide have been submitted so far.
It could take up to two weeks for parents to get their money back.