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Lansing school buses won't be privatized

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio
Lansing school board president Peter Spadafore (left) talks with Dan Hamilton with AFSCME 25

The Lansing school district will continue to operate its own buses next year.

The school board decided Thursday not to go with a private bus company.

Supporters say privatizing the bus service would save the Lansing school district $5 million over the next five years, primarily because the district would not have to replace much of its aging bus fleet.

But school board president Peter Spadafore says now is not the time to privatize the bus service serving thousands of capital city school children.

“If we can come together, the interest groups involved, and develop a solution that’s a long-term solution, we won’t be having this conversation for a while,” says Spadafore.

Dan Hamilton is with the union representing Lansing school district bus drivers. He says the district must come up with a long-term plan to buy new buses.

“But we think in the short-term, probably to keep the options open, (the best option will) be leasing,” says Hamilton.

The Lansing schools superintendent says the decision not to privatize the bus service will force the school district to look at making deep cuts in other parts of next year’s budget.  

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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