Education

Gary School Bus Service Could Stop Nov. 10

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October 14, 2014 — The CEO of the company that transports more than 4-thousand Gary Community Schools students to their classes confirmed Tuesday that the school district is in serious enough financial shape that it cannot pay its transportation bills. That could lead to a halt in bus service next month.  Here is the statement from the company:

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On Sept. 24, 2014, Illinois Central School Bus (ICSB) notified Gary Community School Corporation superintendent Dr. Cheryl Pruitt that, unless a payment plan is established, ICSB will stop providing bus service on Nov. 10, 2014.

The amount in arrears grows approximately $150,000 each week, and, at this point, the amount outstanding is nearly $3 million.

ICSB started providing bus service to Gary Schools in 2007, and is in its second year of a three-year contract.

ICSB has met with Dr. Pruitt and other stakeholders regarding this situation. Multiple conversations with Dr. Pruitt have revealed what we anticipated – Gary Schools has a $23 million budget deficit and there is no plan for paying ICSB and other vendors.

ICSB cannot continue to pay for salaries, fuel and bus maintenance with no payment plan in place. If bus service is discontinued, families of the 4,000+ students will undergo significant hardship to transport their children to and from school, and the jobs of 100 drivers and staff will be eliminated.

It breaks our heart to be in this position so we are redoubling our efforts to find a solution that keeps the buses running.

Steve Hemmerlein

CEO, Illinois Central School Bus

Superintendent Pruitt has asked ICSB to continue working with them.

 

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