WISD contracts with 3 districts on consolidated transportation

From the Washtenaw Intermediate School District

The Washtenaw Intermediate School District Board of Education has approved contracts for transportation consolidation with Ann Arbor Public Schools, Willow Run Community Schools and Ypsilanti Public Schools.

The contracts centralize the three districts’ general and special education transportation functions under WISD beginning with the 2010-11 school year. The contracts were approved July 13.

The Board also authorized the WISD Superintendent William Miller to hire a Director of Transportation Services for the 2010-11 school year. The county’s intermediate school district is accepting applications for transportation personnel, including bus drivers and aides.

Work on the consolidated plan began last school year at the request of WISD’s 10 member school districts. Throughout last winter and spring, teams of individuals from the 10 districts designed a consolidated transportation model.

The team members produced a system that would generate cost savings in the 18 to 25 percent range by: Standardizing buses, fuel systems, processes and supplies; centralizing facilities, administration and overhead; optimizing routing; and controlling compensation and benefits, a release from the WISD said.

Last month, all 10 school districts were given the option to participate in all, part or none of the consolidated transportation model.

In addition to the three districts that are participating fully, all 10 districts will opt to participate in countywide cooperative purchasing of fuel, bus parts and supplies.

“Together we developed a transportation design that is safe, cost-effective, and efficient. We look forward to working with Ann Arbor, Willow Run and Ypsilanti and remain open to fully implementing the transportation design for other districts if and when they are ready to participate.” Miller said. “In the meantime, we’ll continue to explore new ways to share services so that we can direct even more resources to the classroom.”

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