Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Transportation Costs - an Eye-Opener

I finally have data on the increase in transportation costs since the conversion of 22 Wake County public schools to a mandatory year-round schedule. I have been trying to get this information since February. I believe the school system has tried to obscure the fact that the massive reassignments (largely due to the MYR schools) have caused transportation costs to spiral upwards. Some of us warned them about this years ago, based on reports from other systems that had to abandon MYR school plans due, in part, to rising transportation expenses. The following information given to me by Mr. Don Haydon is a major eye-opener and should have been front and center long before now. I quote:

“Transportation Department staff compared the monthly cost for July & August 2006 with the same months in 2007 to estimate a difference in cost for transportation of year-round students.  For July & August 2006, the average cost for each of the 2 months was $232,000 and for 2007, $472,000.” 

Additionally,

“Ms Lee, my understanding is that the costs were the actual costs for system-wide transportation for the two months.  Thus, the data would show the cost for transportation for the schools in session in July/August 2006 as compared with those in 2007; those months were selected because most of the buses would be for multi-track schools.”

In other words, the system-wide transportation expenses just during the combined two months of July and August more than doubled this school year, rising from close to half a million dollars ($464,000) in 2006 to

close to a million ($944,000) in 2007.

Ponder that...