Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Education

Hillsborough board hires school bus consultant

TAMPA — The Hillsborough County School Board on Tuesday selected a consultant to help the district with its transportation department.

The district will work with Maryland-based company School Bus Consultants on the scope of the work before approving a final contract.

The company would be paid a maximum of $79,800 to assess the district's transportation department and make recommendations on its process for purchasing buses as well as its personnel needs, driver recruitment, mechanics and use of alternative fuels.

Board members will discuss the scope and timeline of the contract at an upcoming workshop scheduled for Jan. 28 at 2 p.m., before the contract comes back before the board.

School Bus Consultants was the only company to respond to the district's request for proposals. The company agreed to reduce its original proposal of $89,500 by cutting travel costs.

Board member Susan Valdes recommended the board also use the workshop to discuss ways to improve the transportation department's effectiveness. Bus drivers and others in the department have expressed concern over how it operates, she said.

In other action, the board approved the suspension of four elementary school teachers and one middle school teacher for performance reasons. The teachers are suspended without pay. Superintendent MaryEllen Elia will recommend they be fired.

The teachers may request termination hearings if they choose. The teacher's contract allows the district to dismiss teachers after two consecutive "unsatisfactory" ratings.

New principals: The Hillsborough School Board named six new principals Tuesday: Brian Harvey, Summerfield Crossing Elementary; Claire Mawhinney, Randall Middle School; Sharon Morris, Freedom High; Robin Johnson, Limona Elementary; Milady Astacio, Thompson Elementary; and Nicole Bennett, Ippolito Elementary.

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