Funk comes to the DOE from River Bend Transit in Davenport, Iowa. There, he served as lead technician for 12 years, leading the maintenance program for the agency’s 69-bus fleet.
The school bus inspector selection process began in January. Funk was selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants from Iowa and four other states.
DOE officials said that the Iowa school bus inspection process is unique in the industry in that it is self-funded from inspection fees from the nearly 15,000 vehicles inspected each year.
“We’re really happy to have Joe joining us,” said Max Christensen, state director of pupil transportation at the DOE. “He’s going to make a great addition to our team, and we all look forward to working with him in the months and years to come. His experience and expertise was quite apparent during the interview process, and now it’s time to put him to work in helping to keep students in Iowa safe while on the school bus.”
Funk joins inspector Verlan Vos and replaces Owen Freese, who retired as an inspector at the end of December and then began serving as executive director of the Iowa Pupil Transportation Association.
The Iowa Board of Education recently approved a proposal to increase the state’s school bus inspection fee from $28 to $40 per vehicle. The increase, which is awaiting final approvals, will allow the DOE to hire one more school bus inspector, for a total of three.