BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Monroe County Community School Corporation is working with its bus contractor to resolve a new issue.
Since school started, corporation officials say the company they hired to help solve their bus driver shortage hasn’t held up its end of the bargain. Late or missing buses and drivers kicked off a firestorm of angry parents, students and community members.
Now, those same people are floored to hear the district is having to work with Auxilio to make sure the buses’ license plates get up-to-date.
“I thought they should’ve had the plate or at least a current plate on them before they’re inspected or before they would even let them put passengers aboard,” said Dan Blake, a former contract driver for the school.
In a statement, Andrew Clampitt, a spokesperson for the district, confirms they “are working with Auxilio on many different issues including expired plates on their busses [sic].”
Blake was shocked to hear that Auxilio has time to work out yet another issue he could’ve lost his contract over in years past.
“It’s against the law,” said Blake.
Ryan Andrews, an MCCSC parent, echoed that sentiment.
“Our kids are on those buses,” said Andrews. “They need to have those buses ship-shape ready to go before anything. You’d think that would be top priority.”
It’s been a long first month of school for Andrews and his daughter Kathrine.
“I’m hoping that I don’t get off the bus late ever again because it was scary!” exclaimed Kathrine.
Kathrine and her parents say after the initial big bumps in the road early on in the school year, things are smoother, but still rocky.
“I believe it’s some part of the school’s fault,” said Kathrine’s father Ryan. “They need to get it fixed now instead of it being an ongoing problem.”
Right now, the school’s spokesperson says Auxilio is only providing nine buses, up from four and 19 drivers, up from 18.
“If they put me on a 30-day notice, I would think I’d want to do something before the 30 days was up!” said Blake.
In addition to working to fix the expired tags, MCCSC is hiring its own bus drivers. Clampitt says the corporation now has 90 drivers, up from 87 at the start of the school year. He says they also have nine new drivers in the certification and training process and hope to continue the trend.
Clampitt says they understand the community’s frustration. Andrews hopes that translates to change.
“It should get better,” said Blake. “I hope it will get better. Not just for my kid, but for everybody else out there dealing with this.”
FOX59 has spent weeks trying to nail down exactly when Auxilio’s 30 days is up. So far, school officials haven’t been able to say due to ongoing discussions with both sides’ legal teams.
We first reported the notice Aug. 17, so Auxilio has five days or less to shape up or their contract with MCCSC will be void.