School bus driver jobs in limbo - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

School bus driver jobs in limbo

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AMERICUS, GA (WALB) -

By Wainwright Jeffers - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The jobs of some Sumter County school bus drivers are in limbo.

Thursday night the school board adopted money-saving recommendations that call for a reduction in staff, but the details aren't worked out yet.

All 8 board members in attendance voted to restructure the Transportation Department to save up to $500,000 by cutting fuel costs, salaries, and fleet insurance.

A transportation consultant conducted an audit and suggested changes to make the operation more efficient.

The recommendations include a tier transportation system where students of the same age ride together, changing the current bell time at the middle school, and downsizing transportation department staff.

Board members say it's a tough decision, but one that has to be made.

"We are cutting everywhere we can to come in line with our budget just like with any school system changes have to be made," said Edith Ann Green, Board Chair.

The superintendent must now decide where to cut staff and how to implement the changes.

A week and a half ago, 20 bus drivers staged a one-day walkout to protest the potential job cuts.

One of those drivers spoke against the plan Thursday night.

The system has 62 bus drivers. The board chair said they'll work to find other jobs in the system for those who are cut.

The consultant said the changes could also reduce the need for new buses, saving another $1.7 million.

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