Glenbrook High Schools District 225 and Glenview School District 34 are in the process of entering into a special education transportation contract that would start next school year.
Currently, both school districts receive a portion of their special education transportation services through the Northern Suburban Special Education District, according to district reports. The organization informed school districts that Septran, the transportation company NSSED utilizes, will increase its service cost by 34 percent beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, according to the reports.
District 225 and District 34 decided to go out to bid for a new special education transportation contract, said R.J. Gravel, District 225 assistant superintendent for business.
Administrators for both districts agreed on a three-year contract with Safeway Transportation and each district would pay per student, Gravel said.
“Safeway Transportation has been highly regraded by parents and school district officials throughout the area,” Gravel said.
District 225 currently uses five providers for special education transportation: American Taxi Dispatch, First Student, Safeway Transportation, Septran and 303 Taxi, according to a District 225 report.
The administration recommends making Safeway Transportation the sole special education transportation provider for the district starting next year, Gravel said. If the district needs larger buses for special education students it has access to them through its contract with First Student, he said.
The contract with Safeway Transportation would remain flat for the next three years and is valued at $1.2 million for District 225, according to the report. The new contract would save District 225 $1.4 million over the thee years compared to current special education contracts, according to the report.
Through the NSSED contract, District 34 used Septran for special education transportation, as well as Safeway Transportation and 303 Taxi, according to a District 34 report.
The District 34 administration also recommended a three-year contract with Safeway Transportation for a flat fee of approximately $870,000 each year, according to the report. The district will save approximately $870,000 each year under the new contract compared to current special education transportation costs, it said.
District 225 Board of Education Vice President Bruce Doughty said the joint contract “is using creative thinking and tremendous savings for the district.”
The District 34 Board of Education approved the special education transportation contract at its March 19 meeting. The District 225 Board of Education will vote on the contract as part of the consent agenda April 9.