The Sturgeon Bay School District is in the market for a busing company.
Superintendent Joe Stutting says district officials have been looking into the idea for about a year, meeting not only with bus companies but also with neighboring districts. Stutting says the other districts aren't in a position to move ahead, but Sturgeon Bay is.
Currently Sturgeon Bay handles its own busing, as do other districts in Door County. "We buy the buses, we provide the bus drivers and the training," says Stutting.
Ultimately Stutting says the move is another tool the district can use to make ends meet.
In addition to cost savings, Stutting says other advantages to hiring an outside company are gaining more control over how the district uses its custodial staff and relieving the pressure of managing the operation.
"None of us are experts in busing," says Stutting. "And as we run a skeleton crew as an administration and our maintenance staff, it just adds stress onto our system. We're not as efficient even with our custodial staff because we use them to drive the buses too."
Some of negatives according to Stutting are losing 100 percent control over the employees and the overall operation.
He says they're hoping that through some retirements they can avoid any type of layoffs if at all possible.
"We don't want to displace anybody if we can help it," says Stutting. "We know our bus drivers will have the opportunity to drive for whoever would get the contract if we go that direction."
Stutting says a request for proposals will go out in November with a decision expected in December. He says any change the district makes wouldn't take effect until the 2013-2014 school year.