Parents, residents, drivers, and monitors continue to voice their concerns about Jim Thorpe Area School District losing bus monitors. The issue, which has been brought up at previous school board meetings, was also brought up at Monday night's meeting.
Last school year JTASD allotted $50,000 to each transportation company, Getz Transportation and Kuhn Transportation, to help pay for bus monitors. Charles Getz of Getz Transportation stated that as of Tuesday the company will be over the $50,000 allotted by the school district and Tuesday will be the last day for the bus monitors.
John Palmen, a bus driver for Getz Transportation, asked the school board if they discussed helping the transportation companies with the funding for bus monitors. Board member Randall Smith stated, "The finance committee hasn't taken a good look at it, but we can put it on the agenda for discussion." Smith also said, "The money in the budget for this school year has already been allocated."
Without bus monitors, drivers and parents are worried for the safety of the students on the buses. Both Getz and Palmen voiced their concerns that if there are no more bus monitors the drivers will be focusing on both the road and the students at the same time.
"We started a safety committee and we have a meeting on Wednesday," said Palmen. This meeting will give the drivers, monitors, and administrators the chance to discuss the bus monitors and safety issues on the buses. "We are trying to figure out a way to deal with these problems. What we are asking (from the board) is to help us figure out these problems," stated Palmen.
The board is taking these concerns into consideration and this issue will be discussed further at the safety committee meeting on Wednesday at 11 a.m.