COLLINSVILLE, Va. — Representatives of the Taxpayer Association of Martinsville/Henry County urged the Henry County school board last week to study merging and privatizing the county and city school transportation systems.
An official from the association, Rick Horton, told the Martinsville Bulletin that the school board “showed leadership” by supporting a 2010 study of merging city and county school systems, and he urged the board to support the association’s proposal. Horton noted that the change is needed to become more efficient, and due to declining enrollment.
Horton also told the news source that Roanoke (Va.) City Public Schools created a template for the district to follow when Roanoke contracted with Mountain Valley Transportation, a division of the Pennsylvania-based Krapf Bus Companies, in 2009 to manage school transportation.
Officials for the Roanoke district approved the decision to outsource school bus service to save approximately $250,000 annually. The bus company also leased the city’s school garage for $60,000 a year.
According to the Martinsville Bulletin, the Taxpayer Association of Martinsville/Henry County contacted Krapf, and Horton said the company “responded positively” about a possible study to combine the two local transportation departments, which the taxpayers group would conduct at no cost to the school division.
The school board directed the staff to look into the possibilities and make recommendations to the board. No timeline was given.