By Bob Eccles
Ypsilanti, MI – The Ypsilanti School District is no longer considering the privatization of its transportation department as a way to help balance the budget, at least not this year.
Superintendent James Hawkins took the privatization idea off the table after the only bid received would have had the switch to private transportation starting in the middle of the coming school year.
Hawkins say while even that change might have saved the district a half-million dollars, it was unnacceptable, and he says there are other ways to make up budget shortfalls.
Hawkins pointed out that the state has agreed to allow the district to keep more of the proceeds from the sale of the Ardis school building, and that a drop in workers' compensation costs will save the district 171-thousand dollars.
Hawkins also says three administrators have agreed to essentially retire and be re-hired on temporary contracts for another 90-thousand dollars in savings.
Just the same, Hawkins says the 2007-2008 budget year is shaping up as the toughest yet, with a three-point-nine million dollar deficit already projected.
The district will hold a special budget information meeting Thursday night to lay out the district's financial challenges, and get public input on possible solutions.