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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Of subcontracting bus drivers, decentralizing maintenance and more...

We didn't have space in today's story to mention all of the Pinellas County school administration's responses to the Pinellas Education Foundation's "Savings for Classrooms" ideas. So here's the full report with district's responses in red.

Among the more interesting responses:

* The district is willing to conduct a feasibility study into the idea of subcontracting bus driver services to a private company.

* Administrators will "study" the possible automation of purchase order processing, though officials warned it could cost millions and take years to switch from the current process to a more automated system.

* The district is working on a plan to establish three "mini-warehouses" across the district so that maintenance employees don't spend so much time traversing the county, racking up fuel costs and delaying response times. Currently, all services run through Walter Pownall Service Center in Largo.

* The district will "explore the benefits" of outsourcing management of its buildings and maintenance personnel.

* The Pinellas Education Foundation predicted $23 millions of potential savings would be possible if the school district went to a self-funded health insurance plan. However, Ted Pafundi, director of risk management for the district, said that figure was probably high because some of the data the district gave the group may not have been accurate.

* An Aon Hewitt consultant receiving $750,000 a year to broker insurance packages on behalf of the district has renegotiated his current contract. Under the new terms, superintendent John Stewart said, Aon will take a $210,000 reduction through Dec. 31, 2012, when his contract expires. The district will solicit other brokers to throw their hats in the ring for 2013.

Read through the other ideas and tell us what you think.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 3:45pm]

    

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