Ann Arbor joins county consolidated busing plan

The Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Education has approved participating in a consolidated transportation  plan through the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.

The school board voted to approve the change on June 23.

Half of  public school districts in Washtenaw County will participate in the  transportation plan including Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, Willow Run, Lincoln and Whitmore Lake. Efficiencies such as optimized bus routes, collaborative purchasing, reduced wages and benefit costs and centralized overhead are part of the plan.

The consolidation plan will take effect this fall and school officials have said that most bus routes would remain the same, with the exception of special education services where routes will be reconfigured. Under the plan, drivers and transportation employees in participating districts would apply for jobs and work directly for the WISD.

The Ann Arbor district also obtained bids for privatizing bus service which was weighed against the consolidated approach.  The change in transportation services is among many things being done by Ann Arbor in order to trim $20 million from the school district budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year which begins July 1.

For a detailed, downloadable presentation about the consolidated transportation plan by WISD Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Brian Marcel, click here and find it under June 4 on the meeting schedule. A substantial Q&A section is included in this presentation.

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