65
      Sunday
      79 / 63
      Monday
      85 / 65
      Tuesday
      89 / 69

      Johannesburg-Lewiston schools considering privatizing bus service

      Making changes to busing staff is just one of many options that the Johannesburg-Lewiston school board is considering to make up a $100,000 deficit.

      Making changes to busing staff is just one of many options that the Johannesburg-Lewiston school board is considering to make up a $100,000 deficit.

      Ten bus drivers are fighting for their jobs and brought their ideas for cuts to the table, hoping to find a compromise. They say their plan to take a two-percent page cut as well as get rid of vision, dental and life insurance, would save the district $25,000 per year.

      The district currently pays $650,000 for transportation. They need to cut that number to help make up for a portion of the district's $100,000 deficit.

      One option being considered is private contractors, like many other school districts have done.

      "I've talked to some supreintendents that have done this," said Superintendent Rick Holt. "For the most part, [they've] spoken highly of the companies that they have done with."

      At this point, Holt wants to keep all of his options open for the school board, but he hopes no changes have to be made.

      "Hopefully we will be able to keep our own guy and will be able to work out a deal where we can get some concessions and restructure they way we're doing transportation and keep our own guys in house," Holt said.

      In a meeting Tuesday night, parents and concerned community members gathered in Johannesburg to show their support for the drivers.

      The district is expected to make a final decision at the May 12 meeting.