A bus driver in Spring Grove disputed claims that buses operated in the district aren't safe.
Ray Sherry, a Paradise Township resident, told school board members Monday night that all 87 of Durham School Services' buses and vans used in the district recently passed yearly inspections conducted by state police.
"Spring Grove drivers ... have their own children sitting on those buses," he said. "We understand that all drivers, both union and (nonunion), care about students."
Each driver looks for issues before going out to pick up students and when bringing a bus back to the terminal, Sherry said.
Some drivers raised issues with the state of the buses during a meeting earlier this month. Safety concerns included fuel leaks, breakdowns and the district taking too long to authorize repairs.
Paperwork: However, one driver said her issue is unfiled paperwork for newly hired drivers.
When Julie Myers of Seven Valleys was hired by Durham as a driver in July, she had to pass a child abuse background check before she could drive students.
After six days on the job in September, Myers said she learned the paperwork was never filed with the state. It eventually was, and Myers was cleared, but she wondered what would happen with a driver who has a history of abusing children.
"Our children (are) the utmost important thing," she said.
The drivers are currently in contract talks with the company, but the district is shopping around for services from Durham and other companies.
Durham provides transportation for 3,500 Spring Grove students per day.
Proposals: George Ioannidis, district business manager, said Durham and five other companies have submitted proposals to provide transportation to the district.
The administration will review the proposals before they are presented to the board for a vote. Ioannidis said the board should receive the proposals in April.
Ryan Grogg, a Spring Grove resident, said the district stands to save a large amount of money if it goes with the lowest bidder.
After the meeting, Grogg said the district could save close to $500,000 a year with the lowest bidder, which equals about four teachers. He received bid figures from each company during a previously held committee meeting.
But Superintendent Robert Lombardo said there could be "nuances" that could alter those figures. That's why the administration and the district solicitor need to review the proposals before presenting them to the board.
"We don't know the true cost of each proposal just yet," he said.
- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.