The xiTix 2009 Student Safety & Truancy Prevention $100,000 Grant
THE GRANT
Considering the growing need for Parents, Schools and Student Transportation authorities to address the issues of truancy and safety of the children on School transportation, as the base premise of this fund, we introduce a $100,000 Grant.
This Grant will be awarded to a school/ schools, or a school district, equipping them with $100,000 worth of state of the art hardware and technology supported by ReTSER (Real Time Student Exception Reporting) and real time GPS Fleet Visibility.

The Grant will be awarded on first cum first serve basis, until the entire grant amount gets exhausted. Applications will be received and WINNER/s announced every month.

This Grant requires NO MATCHING FUNDS from the School/Schools and or School Districts.
THE CONCERN
Truancy is a very serious indicator for possible academic failure and truant students are at high risk for delinquency, early pregnancy, drug and alcohol use and physical injury. Youth who skip school are also more likely to be victims of crime or participants in crime. Recent studies have shown that two-thirds of male juveniles arrested while truant tested positive for drug use. According to one confidential survey, nearly 1 in ten 15 year olds were truant at least once a week. Further during a recent sample period in Miami more than 71 percent of 13 to 16 year-olds prosecuted for criminal violations had been truancy
Student safety is also a big concern. Some basic disturbing statistics:
United States Statistics for Missing Children:
• A child goes missing every 40 seconds in the U.S., over 2,100 per day
• 800,000 children go missing each year
• 90% are juveniles
• 50% are 4 to 11 years old
• Strangers commit 53% of child abductions that end tragically
• Average time before the parents know when the child goes missing is about 6 to 8 hours
• Another 500,000 go missing without ever being reported
[Source: www.amberalertregistry.org]
On a day-to-day basis, the most pressing concern about safety on school buses typically involves student behavior concerns and associated school bus discipline. School buses have simply become extension of schools, and security of students just not remains the school’s responsibility while they are at school, but also while the students are being transported using a school bus.
Not just this, but with the influence of the media, hectic lifestyles, increasingly busy parents and worst of all sheer peer pressure, the best of and the most disciplined of children are coerced or influenced into truancy, resulting in the parents believing their children are at schools, when actually their whereabouts are unaccountable.
In another recent incident in Massachusetts, a five-year-old child from an elementary school gets left on the school bus which was parked in the company’s lot for over an hour and a half. The bus driver supposedly said he had checked the bus. These incidents show how unreliable a manual child check could be, where there is always a scope of human error.
Security and safety does not remain only to the students being transported by school bus, it is also much needed to students who do not meet the general 2-mile busing threshold. For example, Florida state law requires that anyone living less than 2 miles from their school find their own transportation. Exceptions to the rule are allowed for disabled students as well as kindergarten through sixth-grade students who must walk through hazardous areas, but there's no provision for secondary students. The 30-minute trip takes a student across the busy seven-lane State Road, within blocks of 17 sex offenders and past numerous barking dogs. This makes all the more important for parents to know if their children get to school safely and that too at the right time.
The US School bus transportation system consists of over 4 billion vehicle miles per year – a significant portion of highway travel and a large number of children that are transported to school and back every day.
We must take action to ensure the highest levels of security for these children. The realities of the security risks and threats in school bus transportation therefore need to be seriously examined in order to identify and minimize risks and threats