SCS approves and renews Durham School Services contract - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

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SCS approves and renews Durham School Services contract

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

Shelby County Schools has approved and renewed their contract with Durham School Services.

The renewal is for four years, according to SCS. The school board added that the extension will include several new metrics for performance and safety.

SCS met last week to discuss the contract. Their meeting went well into the night as board members tried to decide what to do.

One of the top concerns with re-signing Durham School Services is the company's safety record.

With more than 300 accidents in three years, a driver accused of smoking marijuana on the job, and a driver working without a license, SCS said Durham must improve.

On the table: a $2.3 million raise.

The approved contract increases Durham School Services fee from $25.9 million to $28.2 million. 

The four-year extension option was included as an incentive if Durham meets several performance metrics like improved safety numbers and more accurate arrival and departure times.

Even with the contract extension, however, it was clear that board members want better service from Durham.

“They have to perform better if they want additional compensation,” said board member Kevin Woods. “It is not going to be business as usual. You have to perform or they are going to look at different vendors to render the service.”

Part of that improvement must include on-time pickup and drop off for students and a reduction in crashes.

A representative with the company said she was pleased with the vote. One of the main factors that may have swung the vote in favor of Durham for board members was the feasibility of hiring a new bus company in time for the school year.

“Let's face it, it would be impossible for us to change vendors a few months before school started,” Woods said.

One suggestion by chairperson Teresa Jones was to look for additional money to hire bus monitors. The hope is that this will aide drivers in supervising the children, making it easier to focus on the road.

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