Budget, Bus Driver Retention Issues Impact Leon County School Bus System

Budget, Bus Driver Retention Issues Impact Leon County School Bus System

Leon County Schools (LCS) are making changes to the bus system due to budget constraints and bus driver retention and recruitment  issues.

Manny Joanos, the Director of Transportation for LCS, sent a letter home to parents outlining the problems and changes.

Joanos, wrote, “Over the years we have gone out of our way to provide services that went beyond the state requirements of a school system transportation department. However, we are now experiencing changes on two fronts that may impact some of those services.”

Joanos cited “an ever tightening budget” with increasing costs for the operation and maintenance of the bus system. He also noted that LCS is “experiencing a chronic problem in the recruitment and retention of qualified CDL licensed bus drivers.

Joanos reported that LCS Transportation currently has 38 vacant driver positions and expects that number may increase over the next two to three years.

Changes to the current system include the reduction and eventual elimination of courtesy stops. These are stops are within the two mile zone of a school site that state government will not reimburse the District for ridership. Last year LCS provided courtesy transportation for over 1,000 students out of a total of a little more than 6,500 bus stops.

Also, over the next year, the LCS Transportation Department will adopt new criteria to provide stops at no less than 4 tenths of a mile between each bus stop. This action will reduce current stops on most routes. This action will also allow for a bus to cover a greater area and reduce the time a student is on the bus.

And finally, LCS will implement a new automated bus routing software. This software will optimize all routes electronically. The effect of a fully optimized system is estimated to reduce the number of routes by another 3 – 12%.

This optimization combined with the reduction of courtesy routes should reduce the number of buses used for daily transports by 22 -27 buses. Reducing needed drivers by 22 -27 will go along way towards stabilizing 38 vacancies.

4 Responses to "Budget, Bus Driver Retention Issues Impact Leon County School Bus System"

  1. sounds like our public school system is in big trouble, which was to be expected the way things have been run. Mark ^^^ up above outlined some of the issues. More and more parents are taking their kids out of public schools, as I did 15 years or so ago. Most parents want their kids to learn “reading, writing & ‘rithmatic”, not how to use condoms and that gender is fluid. I’m really glad I don’t have school age kids anymore, but feel sorry for those who do. Not sure anything can be done to save this sinking ship.

  2. I have found that Hanna does not respond to anything. The website tells you to email the superintendent but you NEVER get a response.

  3. Can anyone explain why superintendent Hanna is not the person sending this information to parents? Is it because Hanna does not want to be known for making decisions that are in conflict with the budget crisis that Mr. Joanas wrote about? For instance, superintendent Hanna has six assistant superintendent each making over $100,000 a year. Think about the impact that three additional teachers could have rather than one assistant superintendent by the way if they went away the district would be okay. Maybe others in the district would have to do their job. The budget crisis is one of Mr Hanna’s own making so that he can hire his cronies and continue his vendetta. 6 assistant superintendents hired without interviews Shelley Bell promoted to Lively Technical school because she provided information to Mr. Hanna during the campaign about those who were supporting Mr. Pons. When will the school board act in a transparent manner and hold Mr. Hanna accountable for everything that he has done that harms public education and our employees?

    Since the school district is in such a budget crisis can someone explain why the school district pays for administrators to have cell phones? I know it’s so that they can use Facebook during the day and web surf!

    By the way great leadership on the part of the curriculum office with 10 schools dropping letter grades numerous D’s an F rated school and yet no one was held accountable in their offices. While no one is held accountable for academic failure we now slice courtesy stops on buses that aren’t filled for the safety of our children. By the way who voted for Rocky Hanna and how did they not see that he would do these things?

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