Okemos schools relying on borrowed school buses

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Shelby Anderson 
Meridian Times staff writer 

The wheels on two Okemos Public School buses aren’t going round and round anymore.

The bus shortage was a discussion item at the Okemos School Board meeting on Oct. 14.

Todd Sharp, transportation director for Okemos Public Schools,  presented information about the bus shortage facing the district.

“Two buses are currently out of order and are not able to be used,” said Sharp. “It has gotten to the point that Okemos Public Schools is having to borrow buses from neighboring schools for routes and field trips.”

Table tents at the Oct. 14 school board meeting encouraging parents and students to Vote Yes of OPS, a bond proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Table promotions at the Oct. 14 school board meeting encourages parents and students to Vote Yes of OPS, a bond proposal on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Safety of the working busses is also an issue, said Catherine Ash, superintendent.

“The current busses would pass inspection, but they are not at the standards that they should be,” Sharp said.

“Vote Yes for OPS,” Sharp said as he stepped  from the podium.

“Okemos Public Schools plans to purchase seven new busses, personal learning devices for students in all grades, and enhanced security equipment if the bond is approved,”  Ash said.

Ash said that students in kindergarten through second grade will have touchscreen devices, while students in third through 12th grade will have a device equipped with a keyboard.

According to the  Vote Yes For OPS website, the current millage rate of 7 mills will not increase if the bond was approved.

Todd Sharp, transportation director for Okemos Public Schools, during his presentation to the school board about the bus shortage on Oct. 14.

Todd Sharp, transportation director for Okemos Public Schools, during his presentation to the school board about the bus shortage on Oct. 14.

If approved, the issue would bring in $7.5 million now, but tax rates would stay the same. That is because the money would come from extending the due date on an earlier issue from 2023 to 2024.

Amy Crites, president of the school board, encourages parents and students to go out and vote on Nov. 5.

“There is a Twitter and Facebook page dedicated to the bond proposal,” Crites said. “Both of the pages are updated daily with information.”

The Okemos Citizens Millage Committee, a volunteer group created to advocate the approval of the bond, created the Twitter and Facebook pages to spread awareness, said Tonya Rodriguez, school board  member.

For information about the bond proposal, or to make a donation to the Okemos Citizens Millage Committee, visit the Vote YES for OPS website.

 

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