Carroll County School Board Approves Plan that Alters School Hours, Cuts Bus Drivers

The Carroll County Board of Education passed a $331 million operating budget for FY 12, which included a controversial transportation efficiency plan.  Developed by the county’s Transportation Services Department and Superintendent Steve Guthrie, the plan eliminates 40 contracted bus drivers and includes adjustments to school start and end times, all in an effort to decrease the school system’s spending.  The Carroll County Times reports that the plan is projected to save the county $1.2 million.

Remaining bus drivers would be expected to complete three routes, while currently most bus drivers complete two routes per day. The new schedule would begin for students in fall 2012.

Regular educational buses, not special education buses, are affected by the plan. Carroll County Bus Contractors Association President Dianne Grote said bus contractors may be put out of business because of the decision. There are about 60 contractors in the county and the reduction cuts about 20 percent of regular education buses.

The plan should have also looked at special education routes in addition to regular education buses, she said.

Assistant Superintendent of Administration Jonathan O’Neal gave a presentation that indicated that elementary schools are most impacted by the change, and the school start and end times are well within state norms.

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