On Jan. 14, at the Austintown Board of Education meeting, Ohio Department of Education Transportation Coordinator Bob Herman presented the transportation audit that was conducted in November 2013.
Herman praised Austintown and said it sets a strong example in the area with a high level of service.
"We found that Austintown is a model for other school districts in this region and for the state of Ohio," he said. "Austintown Local Schools has one of the strongest working relationships with the local community police, fire, law enforcement."
The Austintown School District is currently 27 square miles, with a bus fleet of 52 buses. The Austintown transportation bus fleet has made an efficiency rating of 1.11 for an average ridership of 74.2 students per bus, which is one of the best in the Mahoning Valley area.
Herman said, "Your district is a model in providing good, efficient, safe special ed transportation...[You deliver] a solid, consistent level of service to the taxpayers and students of Austintown."
All of the Austintown School District's drivers met or exceeded the state minimum requirements of background checks and safety. Austintown is one of the only school districts that conducts safety evacuation drills on a monthly basis.
"You have a great fleet of [bus] drivers," Herman said. "You are ahead of the scale."
In addition to the transportation departments focus on safety, they also focus on costs. During the past school year, Austintown spent $43,255.37 per bus for maintenance, cost of gas, customer service, etc.
This number was significantly less than Ohio's state average of $49,707.61, allowing Austintown Schools to save $7,452.24.