Trenton Residents, Bus Drivers Unhappy With School Board's Decision to Outsource Transportation
Trenton Board of Education members voted in favor of outsourcing district transportation Monday night.
Former superintendent interns Vince Porreca and Rod Wakeham recommended board of education members select Dean Transportation for all district busing Monday night. Board members voted unanimously in favor of outsourcing.
Trenton residents and district bus drivers have had plenty to say about the decision since it came down Monday night at the regularly scheduled board of education meeting.
"I'll probably go home and cry tonight," Ann Dobson, Trenton Public Schools bus driver.
Ann Dobson has been driving a bus for TPS for 20 years and said she was hurt that the superintendent interns, who researched outsourcing transportation, had not visited the transportation department before making the recommendation.
"I really am kind of disappointed ...," Dobson said. "Nobody ever talked to anybody in our department."
Dobson said she was unsure current transportation employees would be able to keep their jobs, though each employee will have an opportunity to interview for their position with Dean Transportation.
"We had a great group and a lot of people are going to have to leave," Dobson said. "This is extremely disappointing. We had a wonderful team there."
Trenton residents have had similar reactions to the news, made evident on the Trenton Patch Facebook page:
- Leah Derby: Welp...i don't think we should let our kids ride on buses driven by folks not in our community. We don't know those drivers! Can patch support a forum for each school to allow for car-pool planning by parents?
- Michael T Lee: Talk about throwing our kids under the bus, dean trans makes money by busing kids, wonder how they cut corners?
- Bob Baker: Well, just another nail in the coffin for TPS. Can anyone give me a good reason why any family would like to move into the city? We're just like any other school district now. Thank You school board!
The next step for district transportation will involve several meetings including TPS officials and Dean Transportation to write up a contract for services.
So far, one major stipulation in the contract was said to be to consider TPS employees first when Dean Transportation begins staffing, according to Wakeham.
"We want to provide an opportunity for our current transportation employees to remain employed in transportation," Wakeham said."We feel they are a valuable asset."
Wakeham added employees of Dean Transportation are gaurunteed a minimum number of hours per run. However, employment compensation would be decided upon by Dean Transportation and not TPS.