Georgia Unfiltered

Search This Site

19 April 2010

Local School Boards Should Take A Serious Look At Privatizing The School Buses

This is another blog entry that is not likely to score me friends, especially among the labor unions, but here goes anyway:

School systems across the state are facing a tight budget crunch these days. The Fulton County School Board is considering cuts to arts and music [Bond Staples, Gracie (2010-3-30). Parents extend fight 
to save band program. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-4-19.], along with a possible tax increase [Bond Staples, Gracie (2010-4-16). Fulton County school board to consider raising millage rate. Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved on 2010-4-19.]. DeKalb County is considering school closures [Kuzj, Steve (2010-2-19). DeKalb County To Close Some Schools. WGCL-TV. Retrieved on 2010-4-19.]. And in Cobb County, the most radical idea of them all is currently all the table:

Privatizing the school bus system.

The [Cobb County] school board [...] tossed around the idea of turning the whole transportation department over to a private company.

"Since we've got to make some tough decisions, I think that's something we have to consider," said School Board member Dr. John Abraham. "Is to be able to maybe get an RFP to contract the whole bus service out." RFP stands for "request for proposal."

Board members said they believe privatization could be cheaper in the short run, also it could reduce the hundreds of bus driver jobs off their roles, reducing health care and retirement costs to the taxpayers.

Cobb To Slash School Bus Fleet. WSB-TV. Retrieved on 2010-4-19.

As local governments struggle with balancing their budgets, everything should be considered including this radical proposal.

Privatizing the school bus fleet is an idea worthy of discussion.

There's no telling how much money a school system might save due to the privatization of their bus fleet. Still, if the choice is between cutting arts and music, closing down schools, raising taxes or privatizing the buses, I lean towards privatizing the buses.

Tough times call for tough decisions, and this is one of them.