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Letter: Transportation fixes could save school districts money

Transportation fixes could save school districts money

The recent News story, “School districts prepared to fight for more state aid,” makes one thing perfectly clear – the angst surrounding funding for education isn’t going away any time soon.

However, there are a couple of state budget initiatives supported by the New York School Bus Contractors Association that would help school districts stabilize their budgets and save some money.

The first would allow school districts that use school transportation contractors to utilize the Employment Cost Index (ECI) instead of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) when renewing their school transportation contracts. Since the ECI is a less volatile economic predictor than the CPI, it will help school districts level their transportation budgets and allow school bus contractors to better manage the costs associated with the labor-intensive realities of school transportation.

Ensuring school bus drivers and other school transportation employees are compensated fairly benefits everyone, because a stable and experienced workforce is essential for overall school bus safety.

Another legislative solution will eliminate the sales taxes on school buses. School districts and the state pay this tax as part of their transportation contracts, which makes no sense, especially when private coach buses have been exempt from sales tax since the mid ’90s.

These state budget initiatives allow savings to be put back into the classroom and can help districts hold the line on taxes – all while putting school bus safety first.

Mike Martucci

President, New York School

Bus Contractors Association