By Pat Pratt
Some student transportation costs will increase in the 2023-24 school year and bus drivers will see a pay increase, following approval of both measures Monday by the Triad Board of Education.
An approved contract extension with First Student for transportation services shows the district will pay 7.5% more in the upcoming school year. The company only provides a small fraction of transportation overall to the district, centered on students with unique transportation needs.
Those services are billed per bus per day. The cost of a special education bus or minivan in the upcoming year will be about $454, up from $422 in the current school year.
Bus drivers will also see a pay increase in the upcoming school year. District officials have said the increase is necessary to retain drivers, an issue affecting Triad and schools across the nation.
Inexperienced drivers will be paid $20.25 per hour. The 2022-23 rate was $19 per hour. Drivers with nine years experience or more will receive $24.50 per hour.
In addition to the aforementioned approved transportation measures, the district recently received two new electric Bluebird buses and a third is expected in the near future.
Board members at the meeting approved a memorandum of understanding to continue a partnership with the Collinsville-Triad-Maryville CEO (Creating Entrepreneurial Opportunities) program.
The CEO program is a collective of high school seniors from local schools with aspirations of entrepreneurship. Students in the program form their own business plan and, with the support of the many local businesses also involved in the program who provide mentorship, tutoring and advice, turn those dreams into reality.
A motion was approved to use $51,000 received from the county for three years of tax deficiencies to repay the Working Cash Fund. The minor shortfall in revenue due to uncollected taxes necessitated the district use money from that fund, which will now be repaid.
Board members approved an overnight stay for the Triad High School Football Team To participate in a football camp at the Illinois Wesleyan University Campus. The team will stay in the dorms and the only const to the district is for transportation.
A motion was approved for repairs to the Triad High School parking lot. Christ Brothers will complete the work with a bid of $116,820. A portion of funding will be provided through the Health, Life, Safety Act.