The agreement would allow Cobb students to be transported from Cobb schools to events with Marietta City School students, saving both districts time and money, Superintendent Emily Lembeck said.
Each time the districts unite to drive students, it saves between $100 and $500, depending on the type of trip, said Mark Lindstrom, Marietta’s transportation director.
If Cobb does the transporting, Marietta pays Cobb upfront for their use of the buses, and if Cobb uses Marietta’s buses, it’s the other way around.
“It really works well to collaborate and just pay one driver and the fuel,” for one bus, Lembeck said. “It’s a smart way to do business and still transport students.”
The two systems have been using each other to transport students for years, but at an infrequent rate.
Each time the systems coordinate to use the same buses, communicating between the students, teachers, lawyers, transportation directors and superintendents became a “headache,” Lindstrom said.
Instead of “bothering” the two superintendents, Lindstrom said it makes more sense and saves time to have a basic agreement that both systems would be sharing transportation loads.
“Every time we partner on trips, we have to go through a cumbersome process getting both superintendents to sign off on it. Now, it’s the directors of transportation at schools doing the coordinating,” he said.
The two school systems combine transportation a handful of times on field trips each year, averaging about five trips together, as schools in both districts attend many of the same events and places.
Next month, for example, Cobb buses will drive Osborne High School students with Marietta High School students to Kennesaw State University for a day where they will participate in an event.
In October, Lindstrom said some Marietta City students were not allowed to go on a field trip Cobb was transporting students to, because the paperwork between the two districts was not completed in time.