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$2 Million In Stockton Buses Sit Idle As District Debates Savings

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STOCKTON (CBS13) — The Stockton Unified School District spent $2 million on 31 school buses saying they would save taxpayers money in the long run.

But those school buses have been sitting idle in a district lot since November.

Drivers like Rena Fowler are upset because they spent hours training to use the new buses. Some of those without a job thought they landed full-time work.

“Thinking they are getting a job, and the district says, ‘Oh well it’s all in hold come back next year. Maybe next school year,’” she said.

So why did the district but the buses?

Last year it found that buying the buses instead of contracting the job out would save $700,000 a year. Now new leadership isn’t so sure.

“We aren’t sure it it’s a savings or not,” said Diane Barth. “It may be, but we are not sure it’s anywhere close to the $700,000 either.”

Drivers claim there is still a significant savings, and believe the students will get better care if they ride the new buses, instead of continuing to use a private bus company.

“We are professionals, and we need to get our work back from Storer [Bus Employment] and put these buses on the road and these drivers to work,” Fowler said.

The district will continue to contract out the bus service through the end of the school year, leaving the $2 million in buses idle. They plan to reevaluated the plan this summer.

If the district decides to continue the contract, it will look to sell the buses to recoup some of the $2 million it spent.

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