PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Providence’s contract with First Student ends next year, and as school officials put the new agreement out to bid, they are seeking cost estimates for privatizing bus monitors, WPRI reports.

Providence currently employs 121 permanent or substitute bus monitors, according to the news outlet.

The head of the city’s municipal employees’ union told WPRI his members would be opposed to any attempt by the city to privatize bus monitor services as part of its new school bus transportation contract.

However, Christina O’Reilly, a spokeswoman for the school department, told the news outlet that seeking pricing for private bus monitors does not obligate the department to have the contractor provide monitors, and that it is looking into opportunities to economize as it continues to contend with a tight budget.

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