Parents meet with South Bend schools to talk transportation troubles
A parent meeting was held with the South Bend Community School Corporation on Wednesday to discuss ongoing transportation issues.
For close to two years, parents have expressed frustrations with the buses coming late, and a lack of communication from the department.
Mother of two, Ashley Defebaugh started a Facebook group earlier this month where parents could discuss bus transportation.
“I had a week straight that I got phone calls at one in the afternoon saying my son’s bus was going to be two hours late picking him up from school,” said Defebaugh.
After hearing similar frustrations from other parents, she requested the district hold a parent meeting.
About a dozen parents showed up to speak school officials, including Superintendent Dr. Ken Spells.
“What they really wanted from us was the communication. Just keeping them informed was the biggest thing we’ve learned from tonight,” says Dr. Spells.
Parents got piece of mind knowing the buses will soon be equipped with new technology. Each bus will have a Tyler Drive tablet, allowing parents to get a more accurate idea of where the bus is.
Dr. Spells says hiring drivers continues to be difficult. The 176 bus routes are covered, but there still aren’t enough drivers on staff to have substitutes.
“Another thing we are working on is a competitive wage for our drivers so we can attract drivers. We lose a lot of drivers to other corporations because of the pay so we are working on that competitive wage,” says Dr. Spells.
There will be a push for recruitment through spring.
“We’re not going to piece meal it. We’re going to address the issue and get it done once and for all,” says Dr. Spells.
Dr. Spells says parents can expect big improvements come fall.
“To have a time frame and tell us this is what’s going to happen, this is when we anticipate it happening, to see that we as parents have the support and that it is being addressed and its being handled, I believe it was a positive meeting,” said Defebaugh.
SBCSC is looking to hire over twenty bus drivers. Click here for more information.