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Letter: Schools and private buses

A file photo of school buses.

A file photo of school buses. Credit: Newsday/Thomas A. Ferrara

There's no shortage of stories about the fiscal crisis many of our school districts are grappling with ["Although music cuts spared, fears remain," News, April 4].

There's good news though, money-saving solutions that do not sacrifice our children's education or safety. The New York School Bus Contractors Association has put forth legislative solutions that could save about 20 percent or more in annual transportation costs.

The largest potential savings come from a proposal to allow districts that switch to a private school bus operator to keep unused transportation aid for up to five years, for whatever important educational needs they have.

Districts across the state have been able to reduce transportation costs by switching to private school bus operators. Yet, many districts continue to provide their own busing at a greater expense.

Another proposal calls for the elimination of sales taxes on school buses, taxes that are indirectly paid by school districts and state government through transportation contracts. The repeal would also apply to parts, maintenance and fuel.

Phil Vallone, South Fallsburg

Editor's note: The writer is the president of the New York School Bus Contractors Association, a membership organization.