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School Board approves agreement for students transportation assistance

By Bill ShortMillington Schools logo

The Millington School Board approved an Inter-Local Agreement this week with Shelby County’s other suburban municipalities to receive assistance with student transportation services.
Board members took the action Monday night during their regular monthly meeting on a motion offered by Chuck Hurt Jr. and seconded by Jennifer Carroll. The motion was passed by six affirmative votes, with Don Holsinger absent.
Dr. David Roper, superintendent of Millington Municipal Schools, said before the vote that the agreement is for the Shared Services part of transportation.
While noting that the transportation personnel will be located in Collierville, he said Millington’s “portion” of their total salaries will be approximately $16,700 plus benefits. That will help finance a transportation supervisor, two transportation “routers” and a clerk.
Citing the “language” of the agreement, Roper said this shared service is “separate” from the actual transportation services. He noted that each of the municipal school districts will subsequently enter into an agreement with the “provider” of those services.
“The shared services will allow us to move forward with the bus routing, etc.,” he said. “That will be the key for us to be able to get up and running.”
In response to a question by Carroll, Roper acknowledged that the “bell schedule” setting the start and end of the school day will be included in the next agreement.
Noting that he hopes to receive the “cost figures” from the transportation provider “within the coming days,” the superintendent said they will be “delineated” based on two and three bell times.
“That will then allow us to see if we can recommend two bell times,” he said. “And that will allow us to stay within our budget.”
Board Chairman Greg Ritter asked whether the municipal district will have an opportunity to schedule its two elementary schools to start earlier in the day than Millington Central High
School does.
Roper said that will be part of the “discussion” he will have with the transportation provider.
If the district had to “stay at three bell times,” he said he would want the school board to have the “flexibility” to change one of the schools to a different daily start and end schedule.
Under Tennessee Code Annotated Section 7-51-908, the municipal school districts are authorized to contract among themselves for “matters concerning education.”
The Inter-Local Agreement states that the districts require student transportation services to meet their present and future needs. And it notes that the Collierville Board of Education has a transportation staff with “sufficient qualifications” to provide those services.
The agreement acknowledges that the Collierville Board will enter into a “third-party contract” for the student transportation software necessary for delivery of the services, and that the software will be made “accessible” to the districts.
Each district will independently contract with a third-party school transportation “bus vendor” to transport its students with vehicles provided by the vendor. The Collierville Board may work with the vendor to schedule and coordinate bus routing for each district.
Because the services provided by the vendor will be “governed exclusively” by the separate contracts between it and the districts, the Collierville Board will not be responsible for those services.
Transportation personnel will be considered employees of the Collierville Board and will not be under the control or supervision of the districts or their superintendents.
As part of the annual budget process for each municipal school district, there will be a meeting of the superintendents regarding all Inter-Local Agreements among the districts. The superintendents will consult “in good faith” on the scope and quality of services, the budget for those services and future needs provided under each agreement.
The districts will pay a “proportional share” of the Collierville Board’s initial and annual Student Transportation Budget as calculated by each district’s Average Daily Membership.
The total ADM and each district’s percentage of it will be recalculated annually and based on the superintendents’ First Monthly Student Membership/Attendance Report that is submitted to the Tennessee Department of Education.
The Collierville Board will send invoices each month to the other school boards, with the first payment due on June 15.
The initial term of the Inter-Local Agreement began on May 1 and will continue for three school years until June 30, 2017. After that date, it will automatically renew for additional one-year terms, unless one district gives the others written notice of its ‘intent to terminate.”
After the initial three-year term, and the delivery of 120 days’ written notice to all the districts before the expiration of the then-current term, the Collierville Board will have the right to terminate the agreement on July 1 of that year. That action will terminate the agreement in its entirety regarding all the districts.
After the conclusion of the same three-year period, any of the districts will have the right to terminate the agreement with 90 days’ written notice to all the others before the expiration of the then-current term.
But because termination by any district will be effective only for it, the agreement will continue under the same terms and conditions for all the others.

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