Critical Report on Bus Changes Not Discussed in School Board Meeting

Critical Report on Bus Changes Not Discussed in School Board Meeting

Leon County School Board (LCSB) meeting materials show that a “Transportation Department Updates” item, which included a thirty-one page report on proposed changes to the LCS bus system, was scheduled to be addressed at the May 14th, 2019 meeting of the LCS School Board. However, the “Transportation Department Updates” item was never discussed.

A May 13th agenda review meeting for the Tuesday, May 14, 2019 School Board meeting listed six items for discussion. One of the items included was the “Transportation Department Updates” item.

TR reviewed the minutes of the May 14th LCSB meeting and discovered that five of the six issues covered in the “pre-meeting” were discussed at the May 14th meeting. However, the “Transportation Department Updates” item was not.

Why is this important?

The transportation report highlighted an important issue that ultimately contributed to a bus crisis that Superintendent Rocky Hanna described as a “colossal failure.”

The issue addressed on the first page of the EDULOG report was a change that indicated bus services would be limited to “transportation-eligible” students. The report clearly stated that LCS requested that the transportation redesign not include stops for students that were less than two miles from their school.

These pick-ups were identified as not eligible in the EDULOG report and are commonly referred to as “courtesy routes”. LCS had been providing this service for at least twenty years.

Sources have told TR that Superintendent Hanna was behind the push to eliminate these routes in an effort to save money. LCS receives subsidies to pay for transportation outside the two-mile limit, but must use local resources for the “courtesy routes.”

Hanna’s support for eliminating the routes was made public in his statement at the October 23rd, 2018 School Board meeting when he said,

“we can’t explain where these routes came from, how they were started decades and decades ago, but we inherited them and we’re going, like we talked about yesterday in our workshop, to a new system with Edulog that’s going to fine tune routing and bring us into this century.”

However, Hanna would soon change his mind.

When the EDULOG optimized routes were generated and published before school in August, TR has been told that phone calls to LCS asked about the absence of some of the “courtesy routes.”

The calls ultimately resulted in some routes being manually added back into the “optimized” system.

When the optimized routes were implemented on the first day of school, the operational failures that resulted were blamed on EDULOG and Manny Joanos. Both were publicly singled out and removed from their transportation responsibilities.

The response by Superintendent Hanna was to revert back to the old bus system. This decision included reinstalling something Hanna was against – the “courtesy routes.”

This decision raises several questions.

Will these “courtesy routes” eventually be eliminated to save money?

If not, does this indicate that the elimination of the “courtesy routes” was a major part of the problem with the optimized bus system?

If this is the case, why blame EDULOG and Joanos for the problem when eliminating the “courtesy routes” was a policy supported by Superintendent Hanna?

Also, where were the Leon County School Board members on the issue? It is hard to imagine that the LCSB members were not aware of the elimination of the “courtesy routes”? Did they all initially support the move?

There was no mention of the impact of the elimination of the “courtesy routes” on the operational problems that were discussed at the LCSB meeting following the first day of classes.

And finally, why was the EDULOG report not discussed in a regular scheduled LCS School Board meeting?

TR is currently seeking answers to all of these questions.

23 Responses to "Critical Report on Bus Changes Not Discussed in School Board Meeting"

  1. This is a management & communication disaster. Who is THE manager responsible for overseeing the implementation of a new program? That would squarely fall on Rocky Hanna, regardless of who he throws under the bus. Do you think the BOP director was directly responsible for Epstein’s suicide? No, but his division, policies, lack of communication and failure led to dismissal of the person at the top. So too, should this debacle see the dismissal of Hanna.

  2. No problem. From the looks of the photos in the local paper LCSB all made it to amelia island last weekend. They looked, well, happy.

  3. On an unrelated note:
    Would also like to read any of the down-low chatter from the Amelia Island Chamber of Crony Capitalism event this past weekend.
    Such as, an odds list on who will be getting indicted next.
    And what’s the deal with Trulieve? CEO Kim Rivers (aka JT Burnette’s wife) spoke there, and I’d expect their stock to be doing well today, especially in an up market. But it’s down another 8%, only $1.50 off an all-time low. It can’t be insider sales – they’re still in their self-imposed extended lockup period.

  4. Still waiting to read:
    1) Did EDULOG or any of its principals contribute to the election campaign of any Leon County School Board members or Hanna?
    2) Did any of the Usual Suspects do any lobbying to get Hanna to green light EDULOG as a vendor?
    And if so, were they registered to lobby?

    1. I went to the Supv. of Election website to look at the contribution list of Hanna. Did not find Edulog. However, he did get lots of money from Atlanta and Las Vegas.

  5. Great idea! Mark and Standley need to write a book and send it to the Governor and Law Enforcement. They seem to know a lot about the true Hanna. If they did, a complementary should be provided to Pons.

  6. I hope Rocky Hanna has learned that you can’t keep throwing people under the BUS ? who really worked hard for him… especially when he is thinks he don’t need you anymore… Ask me and Woody???

    1. Stanley
      Come clean with what Rocky did in the election. State what you know about the laws and ethical violations he broke.

  7. I’ll be honest. I walked 2 miles to school or road my bicycle almost every day since I was in the 3rd grade. This was four decades (+/-) ago. Back then, there were well lit, well traveled routes of pavement and sidewalks to my schools.

    Access within two miles of any given school isn’t as nearly available as the improved plan might look to “bean counters.” School Superintendents have understood this “for twenty years.” it is something this school district might have taken for granted, but it was certainly appreciated and definitely not broken. As we have now all witnessed, not all cost saving measures are in the best interests of the community. In otger words, our children are not some hollow statistic found on a printout from some computer algorithm.

    Rocky Hannah stated he didn’t know what he didn’t know. I call bull_hit! He didn’t know because he didn’t want to know, and now he is holding everyone else accountable.

    Might be necessary to follow the money on this association with Edu-log. Things don’t make sense. This was monumental. Hard to believe no one in either side of this contract “had no idea.”

    That’s okay. Come re-election time, I know I will remember.

    1. I agree with everything you say above Arthur with the exception of waiting for election time to address the epic fail.
      There must be a way for the County to immediately remove Hanna for this boondoggle.
      Waiting for the elections is basically giving Hanna a pass on this, sweeping the issue under the rug, and giving Hanna enough recovery time so that by election time the odds the leftist voter sheeple reelect Hanna will be about 80%.
      The County Commission is quiet as church mice on the issue so they too must favor the sweeping it all under the rug method.
      Sigh….sigh….I wish someone anyone on the County Commission would publicly speak to the issue of getting rid of Hanna…but I’m not gonna hold my breath.

    2. YES, our Elected Officials need to understand that what works in other Cities throughout the Country will NOT work HERE. Our Commissioners (City & County) keep wasting money going to other Cities to see how they do things and NONE of what they see will ever work here, and the sad part is, they could have found that out with Research and Emails from their Offices.

    3. Perfectly put, sir. “our children are not some hollow statistic found on a printout from some computer algorithm.”

      Tallahassee has ditches, no sidewalks, and unlit roads….those “courtesy” stops need to be regular permanent stops. 2 miles is too far for a kindergartener to walk. Especially when it can be 20degrees to 110degrees with powerful storms in between.

  8. Granted Mr. Jonas should NOT have ANY Government Job but lets face it, Rocky threw him under the Buses so FAST, that should tell everyone something about Rocky. Rocky Pushed for the Program, Jonas made it happen for him and all of the School Board Voted FOR IT and yet Jonas is the one who gets ran over.

  9. I call on the Leon County Commissioners to get out those dusty legal documents, read them, and determine the method to dismiss Hanna and replace him with Hanna’s inocent fall guy Manny Joanas.
    There take that Rocky…In your eye fool.

  10. You want to know why was the EDULOG report not discussed in a regular scheduled LCS School Board meeting?…….Because everyone on the School Board was 100% FOR the new System and Changes. NOW more than EVER we need those “Courtesy Routes” and MORE need to be added because there are too many Perverts out there trying to kidnap our Kids.

  11. I believe Mr Jonas made a valiant and sincere effort.

    I believe the slack was Edulog and the others were asleep at the wheel.

    1. The asleep at the whelel was Rocky Hanna and each school board member. An informed Superintendent would have known how to supervise this process Please do not attempt to blame anyone other than the incompetent Rocky Hanna. Rocky had more attention to detail writing the innuendo in his notebook than he did providing leadership on transportation. Rocky you are correct, this is s collosal failure due to your inept leadership and supervision. Governor Desantis should immediately suspend Rocky Hanna for gross malfeasance.

      Many Joana’s did Rocky’s dirty work by cutting off courtesy routes and leaving special needs students off of routes. Rocky you have always made sarcastic off color comments about students of poverty and special needs. Again, I repeat Governor Desantis please suspend and investigate Rocky Hanna and Alva Striplin.

  12. Hanna’s comments reflect how narrow minded and uninformed he is about how a school district works. This Board will never challenge him or offer solutions. He has created such a mess that our next Supt. will have a hard time cleaning up. Sad to say but we need five new Board Members, new Supt. and new District leaders. Principals, teachers and parents hang in there and thank you for helping our kids. A new day is coming!

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