ANDOVER – Citing the savings that the company says will come to the district, Superintendent Greg Rasmussen gave his full endorsement to Durham Transportation Services to take over the USD 385 school bus system starting in July. The Andover Board of Education followed up with a 5-2 vote, approving the recommendation.
Durham, which claims to shuttle over a million students each day across the nation, has promised that the district will realize a significant cost savings in what they pay for these services on an annual basis. Rasmussen told the board that Durham will be able to do what would cost Andover just under $2 Million for some $1.76 Million, a figure that has still left some members of the board scratching their heads as to how a company can offer so many services, for such a low price.
However, one member says at the end of the day, a contract is still a contract.
“Once we sign this, it is a legally binding agreement.” Board Member Josh Wells said in the meeting. “They have to perform for what they said they would, or we have recourse.”
The District will make some adjustments to accommodate for the change, which would include cutting the number of guaranteed hours a driver gets per day from five to four. Rasmussen says the fact that under the new agreement, driver wages will rise by some 30%, which will make up for the potential loss of an hour a day for the current crew.
“Our hope is that all of our driving staff will be retained and make the transition.” Rasmussen said.
Board members Matt Forney and Carly Haynes voted against the measure. The new agreement will begin in July.
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