Transportation audit outlines problems and solutions for Prince George’s County schools

In Prince George’s County, Maryland, the hiring process for school bus drivers is long and inefficient, taking up to 16 weeks, which results in a large percentage of drivers dropping out.

That’s one of 12 key findings outlined in a comprehensive transportation audit, presented Thursday at a Prince George’s County Public Schools Board of Education meeting.

The audit also found unreliable technology, school buses that were nearly half empty, and unsatisfactory communication with families.

“My son’s bus has gotten him to school 30 minutes or more late every day for over 100 days. That’s totaling more than 50 hours of missed instruction for him and his classmates. We’ve been complaining about it for months, dozens of tickets submitted, no meaningful response, and you lecture us about attendance,” said one father at the board meeting. “You have actionable recommendations in front of you to save millions of dollars and solve the problem. You have no more excuses. Fix it.”

The audit made 12 recommendations for long term solutions. The first recommendation is to shift bell times later at some schools, which would eliminate up to 119 buses and save an estimated $16.9 million a year. Other recommendations include consolidating bus stops and increasing the use of vans or sedans instead of buses.

PGCPS Superintendent Millard House II will present his implementation plan at the next board meeting.

Read a summary of the audit here, and the full audit and analysis here.

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