DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Dozens of parents voiced concerns over transportation Wednesday night at the Dayton Public Schools town hall meeting.
“Right now, I just don’t feel comfortable with everything that’s going on,” parent Kalene Gordon said. “I don’t feel comfortable at all.”
Gordon is one of dozens of parents who raised concerns Wednesday night.
“Transportation has been plaguing us,” Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr said. “For quite a long time.”
Superintendent Coor says the district has a shortage of bus drivers.
Within the last year, the district has trained more than 60 drivers, but only 7 currently work for the district. DPS claims many perspective drivers only use the district for commercial driver’s license training and then find better paying work elsewhere in the city. Corr wants that to stop.
“One of the things that I have asked for is that a policy be put in place that if we are training you and we are paying you then you have to pay restitution,” Corr said. “And pay us back or you sign a 3-year contract to stay with us.”
Currently, there’s no such policy in place, but negotiations are underway with the bus driver’s union and the school board. Some parents suggest the shortage may be a result of what some consider to be low wages for the bus drivers.
“I know for a lot of drivers,” Kim Jackson-Cook said. “They are piecing jobs together. Some have 2, some have 3 jobs.”
Gordon hopes DPS can get transportation issues under control before parents leave the district for good.
“I could give you 10 names and phone numbers,” Gordon said. “Of people who are really considering homeschooling their children.”
The school board is currently in talks with multiple labor unions, including the teacher’s union and bus driver’s union. No deals have been reached. We reached out to the Dayton Education Association President David Romick, but he was not available. Superintendent Rhonda Corr says she’s hopeful a deal will be reached soon.