Skip to comments.New York City Schools Spend $6,900 Per Student - on Bus Transportation!
Posted on 01/13/2013 7:15:26 AM PST by Kaslin
New York City Schools Spend $6,900 Per Student - on Bus Transportation!
Government schools are an expensive endeavor, especially when union labor and no-bid contracts are involved.
The New York City Department of Education has been catching heat from transportation unions lately over a decision to solicit bids for private transportation services in an effort to curtail runaway costs.
The district has not sought significant bids for student transportation services in 33 years. That means its probably been using the same companies for years, without competitive bids to naturally control rising costs.
And those costs are increased every year because the companies use high-paid union drivers.
In response to the union criticism, the DOE recently issued a School Bus Bids FAQ which makes a staggering admission: the city spends $6,900 per student (for a total of $1.1 billion) per year for bus transportation.
In a 180 day school year, thats $38.33 per student a day. At that rate it might be more cost-effective for the school system to distribute vouchers for kids to take taxis.
City officials say New York spends more than twice what Los Angeles (the nations second-largest city) spends on K-12 student transportation.
They point out that a recently bid contract for pre-kindergarten bus services saved the city $95 million over five years.
The unions are obviously upset because competitive bidding means companies seeking a city transportation contract will naturally want to control their labor costs. Higher wages and expensive benefits for drivers means a higher bid, and a higher bid may fail to secure the contract.
The unions are also upset because the city is removing a provision from its bidding rules that says companies must retain drivers during layoffs based on seniority.
Union officials say less experienced drivers could compromise safety and put students at risk.
The DOE claims the bus unions may strike as a result of losing seniority, leaving 152,000 students including 54,000 who require special transportation services without a ride to school.
Such a threat was lodged previously by the Amalgamated Transit Union when the city solicited bids for the pre-K contract.
So instead of allowing the city to save tax money through a bidding process, and allowing the bus contractors to retain the best (not necessarily the most senior) drivers, union officials and supportive politicians are screaming bloody murder.
Former city Comptroller Bill Thompson called the move misguided while Public Advocate Bill De Blasio said there was no legal rationale for effectively eliminating seniority, according to CBS 2.
Both are rumored to be running for mayor and are currently kissing the ring of Big Labor.
Perhaps theres one potential mayoral candidate out there who understands how stupid it is to waste millions of precious education dollars on an expense that has nothing to do with student learning all in the name of keeping Big Labor fat and sassy.
A lot of disgusted taxpayers might support such a candidate.
Well, I'll agree they are kissing something of Big Labor.
I went to Catholic school in Queens. Tuition was $48/year per student, to a maximum of $96/year per family. We walked to school and 48 kids per class, with very little “enrichment” (i.e., side shows and distractions). Still, I would prefer that to being an inmate of a contemporary NYC school.
Because driving a bus takes so much skill and expertise. Especially when your getting paid 6 figures to do it.
School buses need to be done away with. It’s just one more way children are being made sitting ducks for lunatics
Every moth I was given a bus/train pass. Show the pass, get on the train to school.
Holy CRAP! That’s an unconscionable waste of money!
And we will save money by letting the government run our healthcare system.
That is an immense amount of money, more than many school districts lay out per capita for ALL costs of education. And it seems incredible that a far-flung city like LA could spend less transporting students than they do in the relatively compact urban neighborhoods of New York.
This cries out for a thorough forensic audit. I suspect you’ll find massive bribes to the politicos responsible for this squandering.
In a city like NYC where all kinds of public transportation is available. I agree completely. But what about in the country where there is no public transportation?
1/3 of the students have disabilities!
I shudder to wonder what the fools of our local scrool district spend on transportation. If I happen to get off schedule in the morning I can be behind as many as three busses in a line on the same route and I know they run three times each morning... early, mid and late bus. Simply incredible.
And yet, the busses have hardly anyone on them but little brown children and very few of those. Most of the little chilrens get transported by some parent unit by car and the line at scrool proves it. Can you say major traffic jam? They line up for at least a mile in the evening and almost as long in the morning.
We lived near the middle of the section and more kids lived on the other three sides of the section so guess what? The bus went around those sides and we walked to the corner to meet the bus. Sure didn’t kill us but it sure was cold and wet and snowy. Guess what else? We never questioned why other kids had the bus at their front door because what was done made good sense. I always did wonder though why we never built a bus shelter on that corner since we owned it? That was not smart. ‘Course, I look at what we have now vs then and see why... it cost money and we didn’t have any extra for such!! Dad didn’t think we were suffering either. We survived and seem to have prospered to become engineer, inventor, business owner, computer scientist, veterinarian and doctor with the occasional MBA or something thrown in along the way. All from public school and state university and all paid for along the way by working when we could except the doc and vet. We made it because we were expected to.
What do the schools care. It’s not their money
Probably because the kids keep stealing the bus wheels.
Holy cow! for $6,900 a year, they could each take a taxi to school every day. Unbelievable!
That's $41,400 for about two hours work a day - ten hours a week - 34 weeks a year ( school years are short) and that works out to $121.76 an hour for the limo company... or 'mother' needing a part time job... Not bad wages for anyone other than a union goon.
There is a lot not explained in this column.
From looking at other sources, it appears that many NYC school kids actually do get metro passes. It looks like only grade-school kids get “yellow bus service”. (special needs also get bus service).
My guess is that most of the costs are for the special transportation needs of the disabled (kids who have an “individualized education plan”.
A while back, we had this push to “mainline” disabled kids, to make them “feel better”. Frankly, a lot of the costs of public schools are driven by these special needs kids.
I don’t think most taxpayers understand how much of their money is spent to provide cradle-to-grave care and nurturing for those who are disabled.
Especially when many of them aren’t what you would considered “disabled”.
When my son first started school, he did not communicate well verbally. The school suggested he should be put in a special speech program. I told them I didn’t want to cost money, and their response was that their federal funding was based on how many kids they signed up, so each kid they could bring into the program actually lowered the total cost of the program to our school system.
This no doubt encourages the re-labelling of kids as needing special care, which drives up the costs overall.
Anyway, it wouldn’t take that many kids who need a medical professional to transport the child from their apartment to school and back, to drive up overall costs to $6900 per student.
I occasionally go to school, and I often see the special needs kids being walked around the halls. Each kid being pushed around by an adult employee. So you can imagine that for these kids, the cost per student for school is about the cost of a full-time employee, $50,000 or more.