Source: Sherman Publications

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School board mulls bus driver outsourcing

by David Fleet

June 05, 2013

Goodrich-On Wednesday night the school finance committee gathered to discuss the results of outsourcing transportation recommendations. Earlier this year the school officials advertised for outsourcing the 15 bus drivers for the district to help contend, in part, with nearly a $900,000 budget deficit.

"We have not eliminated the deficit," said District Superintendent Scott Bogner. "So far about $750,000 has been cut from the budget—we are anticipating dipping into our fund equity, leaving about 8 percent."

The school board has a policy in place to maintain a fund balance of 10 percent, which school officials say that since 2007 has been reduced by about $2 million. The fund equity is the excess of the district assets above its liabilities (what the district owns minus what it owes). While cash is an asset, it's only one of many of an institution's assets. Others include: accounts receivable, prepaid expenses, supplies, equipment and buildings.

Four companies responded with proposals to the bus driver bid request based on regular district bus routes. According to the bids, only one would realize a savings to the district.

Lansing-based Dean Transportation was $112,000 more than the current busing cost; Cincinnati-based Auxillio Services came in $27,000 more; Warrenville, Ill.-based Durhum Services was $61,000 more. Only Portland, Mich.-based Michigan Educational Transportain Services (METS) bid less than what the district is currently paying with at a savings of $41,000.

Bogner said each bid incorporated other variables including field trips and travel to sporting events

"We did not have a bid for Goodrich Custodians, Maintenance, Para-Pros and Transportation (CMPT)," said Bogner. "I understand the anxiety of this bid process, but this is about saving money and gathering information. The board will discuss this information on Monday at another finance committee meeting."

On Friday, June 7, school officials are expected to meet the CMPT for negotiations. There was no discussion regarding the privatization of the 24 non-instructional parapros.