Privatization of Lansing School District Buses

By: Steve Doty Email
By: Steve Doty Email

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.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by jon Location: Okemos on Jun 2, 2011 at 07:25 PM
    We take away jobs , people sign up for unemployment.....Makes sense doesn't it !? Is this really called saving money ?
  • by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2011 at 12:20 PM
    Privatization works both ways, but you do need to look at this as a 10 year or 15 year solution and what is the cost to restart back up.
  • by Anonymous on Jun 2, 2011 at 12:06 PM
    Privatize the administation, one private firm to manage a county wide district. Clinton county is almost there with building and transportation crews covering the entire county. Go low bid on county wide management
  • by Trina Location: East Lansing on Jun 2, 2011 at 10:52 AM
    If the bus service is privatized, the drivers are still free to unionize and, by then being private sector employees, would be free to strike!
  • by Tom Location: Lansing on Jun 2, 2011 at 09:49 AM
    Once a district sells off the buses you will never have the money to start over. And then your contract price will go up next time you Bid. Also remove all of school employees who will fund retirement. Take out one professional development day and you will save thousands.
  • by Greg Location: Springport on Jun 2, 2011 at 06:38 AM
    I agree,we have to start somewhere and guess what,bus drivers are close to the bottom.If they are getting paid with tax dollars then the people should have the choice on who they pay, union or non union,it is a free market place folks!!
    • reply
      by Bill on Jun 2, 2011 at 09:52 AM in reply to Greg
      Whats a driver make per run about $30.00 This is twice a day equals 150.00 a week. Pay your bills on that.
      • reply
        by RT on Jun 5, 2011 at 05:46 AM in reply to Bill
        Maybe these people should get some sort of marketable skill that pays them a wage where they can "pay their bills".
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