This letter is to inform parents of students who attend Almont Community Schools that there are two important meetings coming up that you would be wise to attend. There is a Finance Committee meeting on 5/13 at 6 p.m. and there is a regular School Board meeting on 5/20 at 7 p.m. at the High School.
There are a lot of rumblings going on in Almont because the School Board is seriously considering hiring an outside company (Dean Student) to take care of all the transportation needs for the district. They are hoping that they will save money by having to pay into the retirement fund of longtime employees (as well as possibly in other areas of transportation and throughout the district). You might want to Google Dean Student to find out a bit about them. The board is also hoping that all the current bus drivers will go to work for Dean—with a lot less in benefits.
At the last board meeting, Dean did a presentation to the board. In their presentation, they admitted that they will be using their older busses when the current bus lease is up—this will save them considerably. Further, they admitted that bus routes could be as long as 90 minutes each— how long will the students actually be on the busses? They said that the busses will be filled, but did not say how many students they might plan to have on a given bus (3 in a seat—like the busses are rated?) On the outside, they sound like a fair company. On the other hand, they are in it to make a profit (so, is there something the district could do on their own to save money without privatizing the bus drivers of our children?)
I personally know some of the drivers who have been with the district for many years—some of whom are near retirement age. These drivers have driven my own children and grandchildren. They are some of the most loving, conscientious people I know. They know who the students are and make sure that they are safe all the way to school and home— and that someone is at home to receive them. I have even known them to wait to make sure the children get safely into the house so that they are not left outside in the elements if nobody comes to the door to wave to them. They also support the local Almont businesses—spending their paychecks locally as much as they can. They support both our children and our businesses here in Almont—Almont should band together and support them at these important two upcoming meetings! Please pass the word!
—Name withheld upon request
May 08, 2019