June 25, 2014 — The Carter County Board of Education decided not to add policy for assigning extra bus runs as part of the school board policy after deliberating on the issue during Thursday’s special meeting.
The board had a meeting to make up for canceling its regular session Monday.
Supt. Ronnie Dotson said the issue of either selecting drivers from a rotating list or allowing athletic groups to handpick drivers has been a topic in the education community since April.
Local Kentucky Education Association representative Mark Rogers recommended the board take action in adopting the policy and elect to have drivers chosen from a rotating list.
“We’re talking about giving equal employment opportunity to everyone. We’re talking about basic fairness here,” Dotson said, explaining that each driver who wants extra runs should have a chance to drive the routes.
However, Dotson said having all drivers chosen in a randomized fashion messes with relationships the teams have formed with certain drivers.
He said he knew East Carter High School girls basketball has a volunteer driver that travels with them, and West Carter High School football has had the same driver for 17 years.
“Many of them are very accustomed to people they’ve grown to depend on,” Dotson said. “... They (coaches and schools) weren’t interested in a rotating list.”
Dotson said when the issue was first brought to light, the board surveyed some of the people directly involved with the drivers on extra runs, like coaches, school personnel and others and found they not only preferred to choose their own drivers, but would find a rotating list confusing.
“Their biggest concern was having a driver who might not know how to get to somewhere or to different schools... And with a rotating list, they’d have to switch every time,” he said. “Some (sports) travel three times a week. If they didn’t know who was supposed to show up to drive, they wouldn’t know who to call if they were late or something happened and they couldn’t make it.”