Vote Tabled On Lansing School Board Transportation - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

Vote Tabled On Lansing School Board Transportation

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UPDATE: The vote to decide on the Lansing School Board's transportation contract was put on hold Thursday night, in part due to the large turn-out and impassioned bus drivers.

The board decided to delay a vote on whether to have Dean Transportation run the school's buses. The school board decided to give the administration another week to find answers to some key questions, including whether most of the district's current bus drivers would be retained should dean transportation be brought in.

It was a standing room only affair as bus drivers and supporters filled the public seating. A special Lansing School Board meeting will be held next Thursday at 5:30p.m. in the administration building.

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LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) - The Lansing School Board says when it comes to transportation, it's an issue of efficiency and cost. The school board will meet at 6:30 to discuss several items, including a new contract that not everyone is quick to give the green light.

"They've been talking about it for years now," said Silvia Silva. She's been driving for the Lansing School District for 13 years, but she's worried a school board vote to join a contract with Dean Transportation will put her and roughly 60 other Lansing bus drivers out of a job.

"We would need to replace 50 buses over five years," said Silva.

At $80,000 a bus, plus maintenance, School Board President Guillermo Lopez says that'd put quite a dent into the district's general fund.

"We don't want to see anybody unemployed, but at the same time, we want a district that is self sufficient and do what it's supposed to do, which is educating kids," said Lopez. Lopez says the move would save the district roughly $5 million over five years.

"Dean is going to pay more to the drivers, replace all these old buses, make a profit, which is fine, and then still cost less money and save the district. I can't see in which anyway that adds up," said Dan Hamilton, AFSCME 25 representative.

Kellie Dean with Dean Transportation says if the contract is approved, positions will be available for bus drivers, staff and mechanics from Lansing School District, but that's not all.

"Drivers that will be coming over from Lansing will have priority opportunities within the Lansing district first," said Dean. He says not only in wages and benefits, but also by routes.

It's not ideal, but Silva says she'll apply if she has to. "I have to. People have to try to survive," she said.

Drivers will be wearing yellow at Thursday's meeting to try to put a stop to a plan that they say will hurt drivers and the community. The contract is part of a four year deal with the Ingham Intermediate School District.

The contract is part of a four year deal with the Ingham Intermediate School District. If approved Lansing would join Dansville, East Lansing and Webberville who all use Dean Transportation. 

That meeting is set for 6:30 p.m. at the district's administration building.

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