Board members will vote on whether to sign an agreement with Belleville District 201, which decided to start running its own transportation for Belleville East, Belleville West and the feeder schools in its boundaries.
Students from the 11 schools in District 118 would make up about 25 percent of the bus routes — the same amount as six other districts in the agreement combined. District 201’s students comprise the remaining 50 percent.
District 201 is also offering bus services to High Mount 116, Wolf Branch 113, Pontiac 105, Belle Valley 119, Grant 110 and Whiteside 115.
Because of District 118’s size, it would pay its own costs under the agreement, according to Assistant Superintendent Ryan Boike. That includes drivers’ pay and a fleet of buses.
“When we file our transportation claim (to the state,) the reimbursement model is a little bit better if you own and operate your own buses than if you pay a contract,” Boike said.
Superintendent Matt Klosterman said, as of Wednesday, the state hadn’t reimbursed District 118 yet this school year for costs like transportation and special education.
The state owes the district $3.1 million, according to Klosterman, which is 8 percent of its $38 million budget.
Based on research, Boike said the “conservative number” for District 118’s estimated savings under the agreement with District 201 is $420,000 per year. The actual savings could vary because of things like bus routes that the district might need to add, he said.
“Under our previous contract, if we added a route because we had more students enroll, that’s an additional $63,000,” for example, Boike said.
District 201, which will have a fleet of its own and will employ the transportation staff, expects to see a savings between $400,000 and $500,000 annually, according to officials.
“Why would anybody want to take on all of the headaches of that kind of system when somebody else could be doing that other than we’re going to try to save a lot of money and provide the service as efficiently as (what’s) being offered now?” Klosterman said.
The Belleville District 118 School Board meets at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at 105 West A St. in Belleville.
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