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A Massachusetts judge has appointed a special master to help stranded special-needs students get to their Boston schools despite a prolonged bus drivers' strike.

Gerald Bush, a Brandeis University professor, was appointed Oct. 17 to draft a transportation plan for the district's special-needs children.

Although district officials have been reporting overall attendance rates as high as 93 percent, special-needs students have not fared as well.

Susan F. Cole, legal director of the Massachusetts Advocacy Center, which sought the court order, said significantly more than 1,000 students have been deterred from attending school because they lacked transportation.

She cited the experience one mother who had to choose between walking two of her children to one school or accompanying her special-needs child on a two-hour bus ride to another school, both of which started classes at the same time.

The bus drivers, who work for an independent company that contracts with the 60,000-student school district, have been on strike over a salary-increase dispute since Sept. 24. It is the drivers third walkout in the past five years. (See Education Week, Oct. 2, 1991).

Vol. 11, Issue 09, Page 3

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