XENIA — First Student will continue to provide bus service for Xenia Community Schools.
Two weeks after authorizing the superintendent to seek alternative transportation, the school board accepted a five-year contract with First Student which will continue a relationship that started in 2012. The current contract — which included home to school/school to home, athletics, and field trips — was set to expire June 30.
The contract calls for the district to pay $2.71 million in 2020-21 with 2.75 percent increases each year. The final year will cost $3.02 million.
The agreement does allow the district — which is forecast to have a negative ending balance for fiscal year 2024 — to cancel the agreement at the end of any contract year “on the failure of the state legislature to provide adequate funding to allow District to provide transportation services to students within District.”
It must give written notice to First Student on or before May 1 prior to the end of any contract year.
If state funding is restored following a termination of the agreement due to lack of state funding, First Student will be entitled to a right of first refusal to provide continuing service to XCS.
Other highlights include:
— All vehicles will have two-way radios, Zonar High Definition GPS with Electronic Vehicle Inspection Reporting, and digital video cameras.
— First Student will be bringing in 13 new buses and have them in service before the end of the 20-21 school year.
— XCS must inform First Student of school closings or delays by 5:30 a.m., and no later than two hours before early dismissal or cancellation of supplemental transportation. The district will pay 50 percent of the regular rate for days when school is cancelled.