Marietta Schools could go greener with 2 new buses
by Lindsay Field
lfield@mdjonline.com
September 11, 2012 12:43 AM | 1589 views | 2 2 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — The Marietta City School Board will considering replacing two of its 98 buses with more environmentally friendly models when the board meets tonight. Final approval of this and any other matters will come at the Sept. 18 meeting.

The board will also hear from the principals of Burruss Elementary and Marietta Center for Advanced Academics about how their students performed last school year, and learn more about a Resources Reallocation Project intended to help district leaders better understand their spending patterns.

Additionally, board members will get an update on the Marietta High School auditorium, which is expected to be complete next summer, and approve a study of the Educational Incentive Program curriculum at Burruss.

Replacing the two buses is a joint effort between the district, the State Department of Natural Resources and the Environmental Protection Agency. The district will pay half of the replacement costs, or $78,816 total, for the two new buses. The other agencies will pay the rest of the cost to replace the two, 20-year-old buses with ones that will “improve and enhance air quality in designated ozone non-attainment or maintenance areas” as part of the Georgia Diesel Retrofit Project and the Georgia Department of Transportation’s improvement plan.

“It’s like a two-for-one deal for us,” said Mark Lindstrom, the district’s director of transportation. Under the agreement, the district must use the buses for at least four years and scrap the two old ones.

The district has previously received grant money to retrofit bus exhaust systems, but never to replace entire buses, Lindstrom said.

“This is definitely a win-win for the school system, students and the community,” he said.

In other business, principals from both MCAA and Burruss will also make presentations during the meeting on how their schools performed last school year on various tests.

School Board Vice Chair Randy Weiner said the reports, which include information on each school’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Test, Iowa Test of Basic Skills, fifth grade writing assessments, student and teacher attendance and conference week statistics, are given each school year at this time.

The board will also consider a contract with the nonprofit Education Resource Strategies Inc. of Waterton, Mass., to analyze how the district is using its money.

“We have been very conservative with our budgets, but this is another way to look into how we can save money and see if we’re doing a good job,” Weiner said.

The group will review the district’s finances, human resources statistics and strategic school designs.

Marietta City is one of three Georgia school districts selected last month to receive a $90,000 grant from the State Board of Education and participate in the project. The money is to be used for additional staff time for date requests, required travel and implementation.

It’s not clear when the study would be completed.

The board will meet at 6 tonight in the district boardroom, 250 Howard St. in Marietta.
Comments
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Phrank
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September 12, 2012
This is dumb. Why buy two new buses when for the same amount of money you could retrofit 15 buses to the same level of emissions as the new buses?
Concerned Tax Payer
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September 11, 2012
Why does the MSC Superintendent hire Central Office employees out of retirement and practice in double-dipping? It's not about whether these employees do their job or contributes value to our school system; it’s about qualified individuals in our community not given the opportunity to compete for these jobs in this struggling economy. With so many jobs lost in the tough economy and recent college graduates unable to find jobs, double-dipping appears immoral. Taxpayers have a right to wonder who really benefits from the practice the MCS board and the Superintendent support.
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