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UPDATED:Anonymous Flyer Tells Parents Not to Believe Lies on Busing Issue

Board addresses inaccuracies on flyer placed throughout the community.

The Kings Park Board of Education continued to look into the issue of contracted busing and addressed a flyer placed around the community during homecoming week that said District Superintendent Susan Agruso was taking steps to get rid of the current busing system and that the community should not believe the lies that were being presented.

Click here to read the flyer.

"If we are going to have a conversation about busing consultants there are some things that are mentioned in this notice that are incorrect so let's clear them up before we go forward," said board president Bill Motherway.

Motherway read the letter at Tuesday evening's meeting saying the flyer was not accurate and that the review of the busing system came at the request of a resident, not Agruso and the review had the support of the board.

"That is a lie and I can tell you why. We are looking at a busing consultant because we were asked to by a resident with the support of this board," said Motherway.

 “We are looking to review our costs,” said board vice president Marie Goldstein. “This is not something where the decision has been made.”

The board did agree, at the Tuesday evening meetng, to allow Agruso to search for a consultant who would be willing to look at existing data from a report that investigated the benefits and challenges of contracted busing system seven years ago.

Members of the board said that much of the data that was provided by a consulting firm back in 2004 is still useful information today. The board agreed, however, that the financial data provided in the report would have to be run again, citing changing numbers in school aid, enrollment and school budgets.

“The data is seven years old and not applicable,” said Agruso. “The report has some value but is not sufficient to make a decision at this time,” she said.

According to Agruso, the firm that did the 2004 report was not willing to update the data in the findings and said she would like to be given time to find a company that would.

 “The decision is to investigate whether or not a company is willing to go ahead and do the analysis,” said board trustee Steve Weber in reference to finding a consulting firm willing re-evaluate the numbers, but not the entire report.

Board trustee Tom Locascio asked the board to take a harder look at the 2004 report and its findings.

“I don’t know to what extent we have even reviewed what has been recommended,” said Locascio.

The 2004 report was not available for the Tuesday evening meeting, but the board said that it will be made available on the district website.

UPDATE: Click here to view the 2004 report.

“There are a lot of recommendations that have not been used or utilized in this district so let’s look at that and let’s look at the numbers because the numbers have to be updated," said Motherway.

The board continued to receive opposition from members of the transportation department who believe it is not in the best interest of the district or its students to switch to contractual busing.

Mechanic Dave Guichard relayed a story to the board regarding the homecoming pep rally where 90 students needed to be bused from the middle school to the high school and in an apparent oversight, busing had not been scheduled.

“Bus drivers returned to the school. Within five minutes every available bus driver returned to the district. Within five minutes we had 90 students transported safely. You have a contractor in here that doesn’t happen. This is what we do. It happens every day,” said Guichard

Dee Reichert November 05, 2011 at 02:43 PM
i agree with you I have always believed it was Ms. Agruso and some members of the board who want the transportation dept. gone. Ms Agruso would like not to deal with it any longer. It has had bad management for over 5 years now due to the people that were hired to run it and did not have the knowledge of its operations. Administration has been overseeing it also without the knowledge of how it operates. This was always a very smooth operation the problem comes down to who is overseeing the operation . The community has always appreciated the fact that they are secure in knowing their children are in good competant hands.
Dan Warne November 06, 2011 at 02:58 AM
Dee you are correct in stating I was a civil servant for 43 years, but i was also the union vice president. I have never condoned, nor will I ever support contracting out. But I stand by my statement the dicussions need to take place between the district and your union reps to resolve the issue. My understanding is that "past practices" has become a stumbling block for the district to the point that Dr Agruso had contracting out issues leaked out. As for a reduction in work hours, a Improper Practice charge should have been filed with PERB. Everything in your contract is negiotable and cannot be arbitraily changed by the whim of the board. I suggest the parties talk privately, not in the press, to resolve this issue.
DJMc November 06, 2011 at 03:34 PM
Why is it better that the "parties talk privately"? This is not a private issue - this affects every child and parent in this town. This issue should be discussed in the open, not behind closed doors. Without prejudice all the interested parties should talk about the pros and cons of each point of view, and come to a decision that addresses the problem in the best possible way. You cannot have a constructive debate when you have all ready decided your choice before the discussion begins. Unfortunately, I have been told by many parents that the current KP School Board is not known for being open to listening to anyones' opinion but their own. If true this is unfortunate considering the "opinions" being ignored are those of the people who elected them in the first place. It would only be fair to say that my family has been in this town for over 100 years so I do not write this without some bias. D. Warne seems to think that "past practices" are a major problem. Sometimes they are, but in some cases they are worth the effort (and cost) needed to keep these practices. The bus drivers in Kings Park have always been the PARENTS in Kings Park. These drivers are not just anyone with the correct license - these are the people who feel that they are driving their own children to school everyday. So, get back to what should be the deciding factor - Who do you want driving your children to school? Personal agendas have no place in these discussions or decisions - check 'em at the door.
tired of the spin November 06, 2011 at 08:21 PM
toBill;Let me make it clear for you why people are forced to make flyers,e-mails, etc.Anonymously,because of retaliation against employees.Its sad that a person can't have their say on issues for fear of retaliation.I hope this explanation clears it up for you.Lets move on:If there is no truth in this flyer then why are you so threatened by it?Why are you paying a consultant to look into the transportation issue?How many thousands will this cost us taxpayers? The part in your comment "if you want to be taken seriously".I take very seriously the prospect of people in my town losing their livelihood and some not being able to keep their homes if their jobs are gone,do you? You say you base your decisions on fact.Well heres one item that "lying" flyer mentioned-there will be a lot of people in our community who will be hurting.And thats a FACT! And to Dan,I do not know what you were thinking,(were you even there?)about the drivers reply ,you even put quotation marks on it!!Nice touch! K P people- remember and VOTE when the time comes
KP Pride for Life November 06, 2011 at 08:28 PM
Dr. Derose + 20 years = No Problems .......Dr. Agruso (or as she likes to be known as "The CEO of the KPSD") ...NOTHING BUT PROBLEMS....revolving door of coaches, teachers and administrators....Does anyone else see who the REAL problem is? P.S she was hired as a Superindendant, not a CEO. KP-BOE stick to the real issues and stop entertaining the nonsense issues.

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