MPS bus issues not completely resolved as grades 4-8 return
MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Some Milwaukee Public Schools students have enjoyed the switch from taking the bus to getting a ride to school from their parents.
“It’s really cool because then we get to like make stops to places,” Milwaukee German Immersion student Londyn Maben said.
Many parents did not enjoy the change. Some were under the impression those buses would return Monday, April 19, but they did not.
"Wouldn’t it be great if they told us the bus situation’s not going to get fixed, and we had to find a way to get our kids to school?” parent Trisha Zila said.
MPS was forced to cancel 160 bus routes last week. The district did not have a number for how many of those routes were still unavailable Monday.
Roosevelt School of the Arts principal Tiffany Fischer said only one of their 17 buses did not make its route Monday, but that was a mix-up unrelated to the problems last week.
The Wisconsin School Bus Association said part of the problem is MPS was not paying contracted companies 60-percent of the normal contract to be available if needed this year, and drivers found other jobs.
“If they would have paid at least the 60-percent, like they did in the spring, this could have probably been avoided," WSBA Executive Director Cherie Hime said. "The companies could have kept their employees engaged.”
Hime said MPS paid far less than 60-percent.
“They paid nothing to the contracting companies despite various contacts and reach out.”
Fischer said the return to in-person classes after more than a year’s absence went surprisingly smooth.
“I expected the children to be in a little bit of shock, and not really know what to do, and then the typical behaviors you see from middle schoolers, like kind of goofing around, but none of that. I think they appreciate being back. They appreciate their teachers.”