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Ask The Times: Gainesville buses take students to specialty schools
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If you’ve been wondering about something in your community, Ask The Times is your place to get answers. The following questions were submitted by readers and answered through the efforts of our news staff.

Why is a Gainesville City Schools bus on Interstate 85 South in Gwinnett County on weekday mornings during rush hour?

There are actually two buses on their way to Atlanta in the mornings, according to Rodney Lackey, Gainesville City School System transportation coordinator.

One of these buses drives to the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf. The other goes to Laurel Heights Academy, a school that specializes in the education of students with a wide variety of developmental disabilities in the autism spectrum.

On Fridays and Sundays, a Gainesville school bus also drives to the Georgia School for the Deaf in Cave Springs, about two hours away.

Since 1973, the U.S. Department of Education has required that all eligible children with disabilities have an appropriate public or private education offered to them free of charge to the parents and students.

Since the Gainesville school system does not provide this specialized education, it must provide free transportation to and from these other area schools, according to the U.S. Department of Education website,

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