Leon Schools cancels bus contract, removes transportation director, will restore old routes

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 14, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) — Leon County School superintendent Rocky Hanna announced Wednesday the district is cancelling its bus routing contract with Edulog. The company will still be used for other services, including tracking students getting on buses.

"I have lost all faith and confidence in their ability to help get our routes in order in a timely manner. These problems must be resolved and they must be resolved now," Hanna said during a midday news conference. Leon County Schools' partnership with Edulog dates back to 2008.

He announced he's removed the district's Director of Transportation Manny Joanos because of the bus route issues. James Cole will be the interim director of transportation.

"Two days ago I was disappointed and hurt, today I am angry. Monday, I made a promise that we would fix this and today we are announcing immediate changes and a plan to get us back on course," Hanna said.

He also announced, starting Monday, August 19, bus drivers will follow last year's routes. Hanna also presented a hotline and email for ESE families to contact when transportation issues come up.

ESE families can call 850-487-7818 or email esetransportation@leonschools.net to report problems.

An improved call center is up and running for all parents at (850)-487-7250.

The school district has been dealing with bus route woes since the school year started Monday.

Parents complained of long walks along unsafe roads to bus stops, long waits for buses, and huge delays in students returning home in the afternoon.

Others pointed out the elimination of stops closer to elementary schools. forcing their children to walk long distances along four-lane highways without sidewalks

Monday evening, Hanna apologized and asked for patience. He also advised parents to drive students to school themselves in the next few days if they are able.

Tuesday night, after another day of bus problems, angry parents voiced their opinions during the school board meeting.

As WCTV reported, the bus route concerns were first brought up by school bus drivers a week before the start of school.

They raised issues with the new bus routes and advised that they were worried about the system.

Superintendent Hanna said he was upset about the lack of communication from the company, and that he would have done things differently if he had known more.

"I didn't know what I didn't know," said Hanna. "Those weren't hiccups and speed bumps. They drove me off a cliff on Monday."

Leon County Schools has contracted with EduLog since 2008; the change this year was utilization of other services offered by the company, namely the bus routes.

"The easiest thing for the school board and I to do would have been nothing; last year at the start of school we didn't have any issues or problems. The year before, no issues or problems," said Hanna. "We were promised that by utilizing what we had already contracted with with this Edulog program, it would make us more efficient."

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