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Oakridge School’s Busing Battle

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OAKRIDGE, Ore. — A feud’s brewing over the future of student transportation at the Oakridge School District.

The Oakridge School Board says they won’t make a decision on outsourcing its student transportation Monday, despite what the Oregon School Employees Association said.

In a press release Friday, OSEA said contracting out is “a bad bargain” for the Oakridge School District. But the school district says its decision to outsource won’t hurt jobs, it will actually save money.

First Student Inc., a student transportation provider, replied to the district’s request for proposal in February.

OSEA representatives say because First Student Inc. is based outside of the country, it’s going to hurt the local economy.

“Our tax dollars that fund these bus drivers, driving these local children by local drivers to school every day will change dramatically,” said Mary Kay Brant, OSEA Field Representative.

“Working with the union on this it’s been interesting because they’re out to protect as many bus driving jobs as they can. But the reality is if we don’t outsource, there’s going to be other people losing their jobs as well,” said Donald Kordosky, Oakridge School District Superintendent.

The school board says buses cost around $100,000 per bus; but if it outsources the transportation, they’ll be much cheaper.

If the contract didn’t work out the district says the proposal would allow them to sell the buses back, but OSEA reps say that would end up costing more money.

The school board says the final decision will be made sometime June of July.

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