May 21, 2014 —
Debate surrounding the school district’s transportation policy again was a major topic of discussion at Monday night’s meeting of the Board of Education.
The issue was first discussed at last month’s meeting when Kentucky Education Association representative Mark Rogers asked the board to draft an official policy.
“What you have on the books right now is completely unfair,” said Rogers.
He asserts that certain bus drivers are given preferential treatment because they are granted exclusive access to extra paid sports runs while other drivers aren’t afforded the opportunity to earn extra money from those trips.
“We need a way that’s fair for everyone. There has to be a better way to do this,” said board member Keila Rogers-Bender.
The school board, however, doesn’t pay for the extra bus trips for sports teams. That responsibility lies with the programs and is either funded by booster organizations or provided by volunteer bus drivers.
“A lot of the sports programs have to pay for their own trips. At the end of the year, we send them a bill for all the bus runs and it often puts them in the hole,” said West Carter Middle School Principal Ryan Tomolonis.
Given the complexity of the issue, the board is asking for input from all parties involved in drafting a new comprehensive policy to govern these trips.
“We need to bring all the stakeholders to the table,” said board member Randy Steagall. “If they have to pay for their own bus runs, they should get a say in how this policy is drafted.”
Rogers was unrelenting in his push for a rotation-based policy, however.
“These are public employees and it’s incumbent upon this district to have a policy that provides equal opportunity for each of them,” he said.