Children, You Are On Your Own

MONONGALIA COUNTY SCHOOLS FAILS TO PROVIDE BUS SERVICE FOR STUDENTS

This morning, parents were met with the following notice:

Monongalia County Schools: General Announcement

10-5-12 Bus 223 is not running his AM run (Cassville area, River Rd & Hidden Valley)

Just yesterday, the Dominion Post appropriately and finally editorialized:

Time to get hands on the wheel

“…students who are bused to schools far and near for their education are being advised to first determine whether or not their bus route has been cancelled from one day to another. …these bus routes should never be subject to such circumstances. Icy roads, blizzards, flooding, traffic accidents, we understand, can cancel bus routes. But random shortages of certified drivers, no. …the Monongalia County Board of Education (BOE) [needs]…to provide a long overdue solution … salaries and benefits packages being offered to our bus drivers are not just not competitive, they are seemingly puny. …the county ended the past fiscal year on a very positive note. That would appear to be one place the BOE might be able to start weighing in with a solution.”

Bravo! a long overdue editorial – albeit soft-pedaled.

The Dominion Post editors appeared rightly alarmed by the bizarre letter sent out a week or two earlier by Mon Schools Superintendent Devono stating that students could no longer depend on the school district to provide transportation. Monongalia County School students now need to check every day to see if a bus will be available for them.

A day before its editorial, the Dominion Post reported the equally alarming words of Mon Schools Supervisor of Transportation Paul Christopher who in trying to explain a busing shortage told the newspaper that family member deaths of five bus drivers occurring over a two week span just could not be planned for. Clue-bus to Supervisor Christopher and Mon Schools: Multiple family emergencies over the span of two weeks do happen, sometimes on a fairly regular basis.

As we stated over a year ago in “Bus Driver Shortage: No Way Around It – Need To Raise The Pay, Improve Conditions” (August 22, 2011), Mon Schools transportation needs to fix its glaringly obvious fundamental problems. This of course is the responsibility and the failure of the current ridiculous and largely incompetent school board, school administration, and bus supervision:

[The busing fiascos result from] a failure of funding and [substandard] workplace conditions. Note to Mon Schools, address them both and you’ll get your drivers. Driving young children to school is an important job, it’s extremely valuable, a vital service, and here are the kickers: it’s difficult and poorly paid. The job pays like crap. That’s the main problem. The conditions are trying and the hours are awkward, split up as they are. It’s a tricky job. These aren’t half-empty Mountain Line buses carrying self-sufficient adults and navigating main roads. School buses in Monongalia County are loaded with needy children navigating narrow and steep twisting back roads. Not easy. Hugely important. So Mon Schools not only should but ever more obviously needs to pay the drivers well and needs to listen to them and act on their needs, and ought to stop making useless excuses for why these difficult positions can’t get staffed…

Mon Schools pays its Superintendents a relative awful lot of money for their doing such a – what’s the vernacular? – piss-poor job.

See a number of other posts on the busing transportation fiasco long since ongoing in Monongalia County Schools:

Bus Driver Speaks:

GRUB STUBS

What On Earth Is Going On With Mon Schools Transportation?:

???

“Delivery Time Unknown”:

DELIVERY TIME TOO EMBARRASSING TO SHOW

Mon Schools Transportation Needs To Get Up To Speed:

TIME TO END THE NEGLIGENCE AND THE RIDICULOUS EXCUSES

Bus Matters:

THE BUS WORKERS IN STRUGGLE WITH MANAGEMENT & ADMINISTRATION

Score One For The Bus Drivers:

DOING THE WORK THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE

Bus Chaos:

BUSING WITHOUT A CLUE

7 Students to the Hospital:

BUS CRASH – WHY EVERY STUDENT NEEDS A SEAT

Bus Failure:

THE ENDURING INCOMPETENCE OF MONONGALIA COUNTY SCHOOLS ADMINISTRATION

Snow!:

WHEN WEATHER HITS AND TRAFFIC SNARLS

Woodburn Elementary Has Been Abandoned And Written Off:

NEGLECT UPON NEGLECT FOR THE AYP TEST PROFICIENT SCHOOL

Traffic Hell:

FOUL SITE, FOUL TRAFFIC

2 Responses to “Children, You Are On Your Own”

  1. Betty Little Says:

    In regard to pay for bus drivers. Do you know that Secretaries for Monongalia County are paid at a higher rate than bus drivers? (actually I think 2 pay grades higher but please verify)

  2. concerned Says:

    To make salaries competitive with the trucking industry would be the best thing the state could do. Bus operators have to have a background check, drug test, CDL with passenger endorsement, WV certification, CPR and first aid training. You are correct the job is not easy, the pay is low and several drivers have extra jobs to make ends meet. The stress some days can be unbearable. Management have become bullies. They pick and choose who they want to work. Several retirees, employees who have left for another job or to pursue their education, have asked to come back to sub. However management tells them they are not needed. New subs have been sent letters that Monongalia County does not need them at this time. Poor management at its finest. Now you see the results you get from poor management. Buses sit, students have no way to or from school and the students are the ones who suffer. Parents, take a stand and go to board meetings. Tell them this shall not be tolerated. They need to make changes immediately in transportation with scheduling, hiring and management. They have been told for years changes need to be made. The solutions are there, they just need to be put into action.


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