At the May 22, 2018 Leon County School Board meeting, elected officials voted 5-0 to move forward with transportation system changes recommended by Superintendent Rocky Hanna.
These changes are now causing significant anxiety with parents just before school is set to begin. However, when the issue was brought before the LCS Board there was little concern about any potential problems.
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The minutes of meeting show that Manny Joanos, Director of LCS Transportation, addressed the school board and highlighted the benefits of changing the system by employing new GPS technology. What was not discussed was the elimination of “courtesy routes”, which are bus routes within two miles of schools.
Joanos told the LCS Board that the new system would provide:
- for the rebuild of a 10-year old GPS system and it’s rapidly becoming obsolete
- navigation software for drivers, which is really important when you have substitute drivers that come in and don’t quite know the route
- access to real-time student ridership information for parents.
- enhanced school bus routing for maximum route management and efficiency and,
- approximately $1,268,000 in savings every year.
LCS Board member Roseanne Wood, just before the 5-0 vote stated, “you know we’re in the modern age and it’s really exciting. Thank you for your work on this and I appreciate the Superintendents leadership to say let’s do it.”
Six months later, in November 2018, Mr. Joanos would send out a letter to parents informing them of plans to eliminate “courtesy routes”. At the time, Joanos said the move would impact approximately 10%-12% of LCS ridership or approximately 1,000 students.
However, in our next report we will reveal the contents of a power point presentation – given to the LCS Board – that indicated the elimination of “courtesy routes” would impact significantly more than 1,000 students.