ACTION NEEDED NOW! PLEASE CONTACT YOUR LOCAL REPRESENTATIVE!
Transportation Funding Talking Points:
- There is an issue with the current model of using ridership in OSPI’s transportation budget allocation. The transportation allocation is subject to a claw-back in February of 2021 if there is no change in the model.
- We are working together with the other unions representing K-12 workers to address the current dependence on ridership, as it is an outdated mode of allocating transportation budget monies. We need your help at the district level to effectively advocate for change in the allocation model.
- This means we need our members to be secure in their position this coming fall. Transportation employees should be retained so that districts can both serve students through the school year and ensure stability when school returns to 100% in-person. We need a commitment from school districts to retain CDL drivers, because:
- CDL drivers are hard to recruit and loss of drivers would result in a shortage when school resumes,
- Drivers over 60 may choose to take retirement if and when there is no employment this fall; losing these employees will also hinder a return to in-person school.
- We want to work together with you to retain transportation workers and provide the best education experience for our students.
- K-12 school bus drivers across every major metropolitan area in the State of Washington to strongly urge immediate action to prevent the imposition of COVID pandemic-level ridership counts in calculating K-12 student transportation funding.
- By not acting, significant harm will occur both to communities across our state and to the overall viability of our K-12 transportation system. Maintaining both the ongoing availability of our drivers and their readiness to restart normal transportation operations as schools ultimately return to standard classroom operations.
- Any break in the continuity of student transportation operations would risk the scattering of our workforce and the creation of significant downstream costs and delays as subsequent attempts to reassemble the workforce would require large amounts of time and funds for retraining and recertifying drivers. Such delays would exacerbate the already severe impacts of the pandemic in a manner that is highly disruptive to students and needlessly expensive to taxpayers.
Ask your local legislators to tell their budget writers and leadership bus drivers need to continue to be employed now and throughout the 2020-2021 school year.
Most importantly, TELL YOUR STORY! Politicians approach policy from their own limited student experience, so tell your story.
Here’s how you can find your local representative:
Or contact your Business Agent or Joint Council Political Director Shaunie Wheeler at Shaunie@jc28.org