|Posted:||June 16, 2016 11:02 AM|
|From:||Representative Anthony M. DeLuca|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Amending the Public School Code regarding transportation contracts|
|Last month Auditor General Eugene DiPasquale revealed that in the last two years, 19 school districts spent $54.8 million in excess of their reimbursement from the Department of Education for transportation services. These are much needed dollars that should be spent in our classrooms, educating our children.
In a time when Districts are being forced to raise taxes, increase class sizes, reduce staff, and cut programs, they must do a better job of keeping a tight rein on every aspect of their spending, and every contract they sign, including transportation. While it is certainly a reality that state reimbursement rates to school districts have not kept pace with costs, districts must do everything they can to ensure that they are getting the absolute most for every dollar they spend.
In the near future I will be introducing legislation that would require school districts to utilize a Request for Proposal process when they award transportation contracts. Furthermore, under my legislation the contracts would be limited to two year contracts, with one year extensions possible. By seeking regular competitive bids, districts will ensure they are getting the best possible price for transportation services. In some cases there may be a transportation provider unknown to a district that may be able to provide comparable services at reduced costs. In other instances, the Auditor General found that contracts haven’t been renegotiated and rebid for over 10 years.
Regular evaluation and competitive bidding of transportation contracts provides better control of costs but also provides transparency for taxpayers. Additionally, by requiring districts to re-assess these contracts every two to three years, it allows district officials the opportunity to more closely align transportation costs with current reimbursement rates.
Please join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.
Introduced as HB2274