FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Southwest Allen County Schools board members put a pause on the move for a new partnership to help solve racial tensions from last school year. The collaboration with Rise to Win was not voted on Tuesday night, as SACS board members have requested a slow down.
They said they’d like school officials to research other options and added this doesn’t eliminate a possible partnership with Rise to Win, a national nonprofit that helps to eliminate racial discrimination in the sports community.
Park Ginder, superintendent of Southwest Allen County Schools, said the plan was to work with Rise to Win to create community forums and a system of surveys to see how to build a better community in their schools. He said he understands if parents are frustrated.
“I think it’s important to understand that people who are in our schools want the best for kids across every demographic,” Ginder said. “Continue to support us, give your suggestions, don’t be afraid to reach out, some of our best ideas have come from our own community members and will expect the same in the future.”
The board also discussed paying bus drivers an hourly rate instead of per route. The starting pay would be $21.00 an hour, a $5.00 to $40.00 dollar increase a day.
Mike Martin, director of transportation at Southwest Allen County Schools, said as the district moves to a three-tier start time system, this is the fairest option.
“The hardest thing for a bus driver is they’re working two different shifts, they’re working in the morning in the afternoon, it’s like two part time jobs but with full time benefits,” Martin said, “It’s a lot easier to pay someone an hourly rate, so they know they’re getting paid that fair rate, versus hey, drive this many miles you’re gonna get paid. This doesn’t seem as secure as an hourly rate.”
The proposal to change the way bus drivers are paid was only discussed at Tuesday’s meeting and is expected to be voted on within the coming weeks.