School bus drivers irked over Chimacum plan for reroutes

CHIMACUM — School bus drivers pleaded with School Board members Wednesday night to avoid actions that would affect drivers’ hours, benefits and retirement plans.

Bus drivers asked the Chimacum School District board to consider other options after district administration presented a proposal to add more drivers.

Citing potential school budget issues, Chimacum school administrators propose rerouting buses to generate more state funding.

The board has the matter under consideration, but made no decision Wednesday. No timetable for any action was set.

Chimacum administrators agree that their proposal to add two more bus routes would affect drivers, including cutting their hours.

The proposal is based on a state formula designed to reimburse rural school districts with more routes, said state school transportation consultant John Harris.

Presenting the district’s reasoning to board members and drivers, Harris said the district could boost its state funding by increasing the number of school bus routes.

“The more buses you get on route, however you do it, the more money it will generate,” said Harris.

“The more you drive the more money you get. By adding two buses you generate $48,000 the first year.”

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