The Leander ISD Board of Trustees accepted the recommendation of district staff to leave bus routes unchanged for the upcoming 2019-20 school year, allowing district administration and a citizens committee to continue working to adjust a new hazardous route rating tool.
While the new tool adds clarity and uniformity in how transportation employees assess hazardous routes across the district’s 200 square miles, if adopted in its current form, more than 1,100 students would lose bus service. Instead, trustees directed the project’s working committee to continue revising the tool and present the results to the board at a later date.
“We have made tremendous progress in creating a rating tool that is fair and equitable, but there’s still work to be done,” Board President Aaron Johnson said. “We promised to our community that we’d get it right, so it makes sense to continue the status quo until our work is finished.”
The district will also begin dismantling out-of-circulation buses, as a condition of a grant received from the TExas Commission on Environmental Quality. The $740,000 grant received in 2018 allows the district to add 24 propane-fueled buses to its fleet. A requirement of the grant is that out-of-circulation buses, currently parked across the administrative offices, must be dismantled.
Records indicate the more the district has received multiple grants over the years as a part of a comprehensive effort to phase out aging diesel buses and replace them with cleaner propane-fueled buses.
“The impact of our school bus fleet on the environment is a big concern because many of our community members live in an environmentally sensitive area,” said Ann Hatton, LISD’s director of transportation. “They appreciate that our school district is adopting a cleaner transportation option in propane.”
The district reports that about 30 percent of its total fleet runs on propane autogas, with a plan to convert to 60 percent in the next five years.
Leander ISD will also hold a public meeting during the regularly scheduled Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday, Feb. 21, to publish the annual Texas Academic Performance Report and conduct a public hearing for discussion of the report. The Public Hearing will immediately follow a presentation of the Texas Academic Performance Report to the Board of Trustees.
The Leander ISD Board of Trustees will meet at Support Services, 1900 Cougar Country, Cedar Park, beginning at 6:15 p.m.