In today’s Dayton Daily News the story about DPS possibly outsourcing the busing of charter and private school students was missing one major piece of information: The bus drivers union voted resoundingly 2 weeks ago to reject the latest contract.
What we have is an attempt at hardball union negotiating by DPS:
Dayton Public Schools is looking at possibly outsourcing the busing of charter and private school students as a way to trim the district’s $16 million transportation budget.
By law, Dayton Public is required to transport charter and private school students from kindergarten through eighth grade who live in the district.
Treasurer Stan Lucas said officials want to see if it might be financially feasible, and the Dayton Board of Education has approved seeking proposals from outside companies.
“We need to be more fiscally responsible because we don’t know what’s coming down the pike from the state,” board President Nancy Nerny said. “Rather than choosing classroom kinds of projects to tighten our belt, we’re choosing operations.”
The district buses 14,125 kids daily, with 4,935 being charter and private school students.
What we really need to look at is two things:
- Why is DPS required to bus charter and private school students in the first place? It’s time to tell the charter school lobbyists to make their schools accountable for their own diesel fuel costs.
- With a move to neighborhood schools- DPS busing needs will be considerably less next year- but we still need to stop providing door-to-door service. It’s time to have neighborhood collection points for students- up to 7/10 of a mile for k-3 and 1 mile for 4-8. This would greatly reduce bus travel through neighborhoods- force kids in a neighborhood to know each other (even if going to different schools) and simplify bus operations.
I would have posted this article this morning- but my kids showed back up at the door- when their bus was 20 minutes late, and I had to take my 2 plus 3 others to Horace Mann before work.
There are ways to cut costs- but union busting isn’t the easiest road to take.