School transportation reorganization set to cut costs

Dougherty County school buses. / Jessica Fairley

Dougherty County school board members will soon vote on whether or not to restructure the school system's transportation department.

The director of transportation system has a plan to save money while working more efficiently. His plan is to eliminate the four district system and create one operations manager and a fleet manager.

"We're just taking the existing numbers that we have and converting them to different positions within the organization. We actually reduced our number of employees by one with a saving of roughly $42,000," said Kenneth Williams, DCSS Transportation Director.

The role of the operations manager will include setting up routes, hiring and training drivers, and overseeing reoccurring training. The fleet manager will be responsible for making sure all buses are up to standards.

Also included in the reorganization proposal is an outline of how officials will handle student bus behavior.

"We are not going to be transporting students who cannot behave on the bus. It's dangerous. It's simply not the way that a child needs to behave," said Dr. Lane Price, DCSS Transportation Board Chair.

School officials plan to train bus drivers on how to properly address disruptive students. Kenneth Williams says with the end of the school year nearing, these adjustments must be put in place immediately.

"We're trying to prepare for next school term and we need to get the personnel in and ready to go preparing for the summer, preparing our drivers for training, preparing our buses to be ready to roll on the beginning of school," said Williams.

The transportation reorganization vote has been placed on Monday's agenda.

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