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First Student contract extended by Jefferson City school board


The Jefferson City School District extended its contract with bus operator First Student through at least June 2023.

The district's board of education voted unanimously in favor of the extension at its meeting on Monday.

Jefferson City Schools paid First Student $3.7 million in the past year for bus services and will pay $4.25 million under the new agreement.

First Student will also face a schedule of liquidated costs in the event of any interruption of service, a new addition to the company's arrangement with the district.

First Student will pay Jefferson City Schools a fee every time there is an error on the part of a driver or First Student, according to Jason Hoffman, the CFO and COO for the district.

"If we get a call that says... 'my student wasn’t picked up on time', we have GPS tracking. So we can go and say, 'here’s the spot. (Was the driver) there, or not?'"

In 2023, the district will have the chance of renewing the contract with First Student twice, each for additional one-year terms.

Read the full contract extension here:

According to the agreement, First Student will pay the district $75 every time a school bus driver makes an unplanned stop, goes off the designated route, arrives at school more than 10 minutes late, and more.

Former JCSD student Ciara Wheatley said she had regular issues as a student with late school buses.

"I feel like there was really a big lack of communication. Especially with parents," Wheatley said. "I would stand outside waiting for the bus for an hour in the wintertime, and you never knew when the bus was going to come."

Hoffman said a late-pickup would warrant a fee payment from First Student.

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Barry Mangold

Barry Mangold reports for ABC 17 News on weekday evenings and anchors weekend evening broadcasts.


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