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Innovative school transportation proposals awarded funds – Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City, Missouri 2022-05-24 11:45:40 –

Nogales, Arizona — Schools are coming to an end, but many districts are already waiting for the fall as the traffic crisis worsens. Driver shortages and fuel costs are just a few of the problems.

In the border town of Nogales, the shortage of school bus drivers has been severely hit, with a focus on the ability to handle school, athletics and after-school programs.

“We have one person who can drive the bus part-time for us,” said Angelina Kant, assistant superintendent of Nogales Unified. “The only person in our county who is certified here is in our district.”

Canto says that with a $ 550,000 transportation grant, you can tackle the problem in new ways.

“The way Nogales Unified uses this grant is to buy nine 15 passenger vans,” Kant said.

The fleet complements the currently contracted yellow bus, but does not require a CDL licensed driver.

“The teacher can drive the bus. Any staff can drive the bus,” Kant said.

$ 20 million has been awarded to districts with innovative solutions to their transportation needs.

“It’s time for us to give leaders and give entrepreneurs permission? Emily Ann Garrickson, founder and chief executive officer of Afor Arizona, said: They managed $ 19 out of $ 20 million and distributed it to 24 winners on behalf of the state’s transportation modernization efforts.

“The grantee can implement one solution or set of options,” she said.

The innovative approach has created multiple transit solutions to meet the specific needs of each community. 40% of them are in rural and remote communities.

“There is an affordable carpool app that is built to represent the child of the route in a particular area,” Garrickson said.

Phoenix’s charter school, Empower College Prep, spends $ 500,000 a year to sign a commercial bus company.

“We also had a phone call at 5am and were told that 40 children wouldn’t arrive that day,” said Brian Holman, executive director of Empower College Prep. “During the pandemic, we were told that if we weren’t using it we would have to pay for transportation.”

According to Holman, their solution was to abolish the contracted bus altogether. With a $ 600,000 grant, they bought their fleet and hired their drivers full-time.

“Instead of spending two hours in the morning and two days in the afternoon on the bus driver to control the bus turmoil, we invite the bus driver to the community,” Holman said.

Elton Belldock, a staff bus driver at Emperor College Prep, said: “I was looking for such an involvement, but I didn’t get it before.”

With a 20% annual cost reduction, you can buy more eco-friendly buses in the future and hire 1.5 additional teachers each year.

According to Garrickson, each proposal is tailored to the needs of the individual school or district. That’s what she thinks other states can duplicate.

“In an ideal world, we need multiple transit options at the table so that we can’t enroll our children in a thriving public school and leave their families behind,” Gullickson said.

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