Baldwin school district to hear bus service proposal
The Baldwin school board will hear a proposal next month from a private company interested in providing bus service for the district.
At its June 25 meeting, the board will consider a proposal from Apple Bus Service to provide bus service to the district beginning next school year.
Superintendent Paul Dorathy said Apple approached the district about the possibility. The company specializes in providing service to school districts of Baldwin’s size, he said.
“We told them to shoot us a proposal, so we can see if it makes sense financially or not,” he said. “I don’t know if we’re going through with it. That’s up to the board.”
The company’s website identifies Apple Bus Service as a Kansas City area family owned company that provides service to school districts in three states. A map on the site indicates most of those districts are along the Kansas-Missouri line and include Garnett, Osawatomie and Spring Hill districts on the Kansas side and Raymore-Peculiar, Cass-Midway and Butler districts in Missouri.
Dorathy said the proposal would have the district sell its buses to Apple and the company would then supply the district with buses. All Apple’s buses are eight years old or newer, he said.
As part of the deal, the district would lease its bus barn to the company. Apple would hire personnel and provide them benefits, Dorathy said.
Dorathy said bus service was one thing many patrons proposed the district explore as a cost-saving measure during discussions that led to closure of Marion Springs and Vinland elementary schools.
With its agreement to hear the Apple proposal, the board delayed a decision on putting video cameras in school buses to monitor student behavior. Board members were told Apple’s buses would come with such cameras.
The board debated but passed on a staff recommendation to install video cameras last year. At the May 21 meeting, board members Bill Busby, Chad Christie, Nick Harris and Ande Parks said they now supported the move, while members Ruth Barkley and Sandy Chapman were opposed.
Chapman said bus cameras needed to be discussed in context with other school security issues.