Power to the people and no to privatization. That's the message Lansing School District bus drivers are trying to get across to the school board in the midst of the budget-balancing process.
"We're trying to draw attention to the privatization threat of the transportation for the Lansing schools,: Dan Hamilton, spokesman for the bus drivers, said.
Inside though, board members on the finance committee are considering this cost cutting measure.
"It's suppose to save us five to six hundred thousand dollars a year," finance committee member Jack Davis said.
A small dent in the roughly $20 million deficit the Lansing School District faces. These cuts are something the bus drivers think will do little to help the deficit.
"We're willing to work with them, but why would you pick somebody who already doesn't work eight hours a day or even 12 months a year," Hamilton said.
During these tough economic times, cost cutting measures need to be taken.
The proposal would give current drivers the first chance to bid on the contract.
"Hopefully it won't affect their wages, but it will affect their retirement benefits," Davis said.
Drivers don't think that would help anyone.
"I would argue you're not going to solve the problems of the district on the back of the bus drivers," Hamilton said.
Whether the bus service goes into privatization or not, the school board is running out of time to cut down the deficit.