Columbia Public Schools considering changing bus services

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COLUMBIA- The Columbia Public School Board will discuss switching bus providers at its meeting Monday night.

The discussion comes after the Board of Education requested research on whether an in-house bus service would be more effective than a contractor.

The current contract with First Student expires at the end of the school year, and CPS board member Jonathan Sessions said the primary reason for the discussion is parents' dissatisfaction with current services.

"Personally, I know there has been a lot of concerns about the service we are providing to our community," Sessions said. "There are a lot of parents that are frustrated with the service that we're getting."

The board will consider both cost and quality of service in deciding future bus service.

"What's best for us financially may not be what's best for students," Sessions said.

Student Transportation of America is one bus service that will be considered to replace First Student. Sessions said using that company would save CPS around $300,000 in next years budget.

Monday's meeting will also include discussion about a policy change to allow school security personnel to carry guns in schools, and the idea to delay school start times by two hours during inclement weather.