Duval County, Fla., Schools seeks to give bulk of bus contract to national firm

Can Duval County, Fla., Schools award one bus company three of the county's five zones? Under the administration's recommendation, First Student would receive three zones, even though contract applications state that no company shall receive more than two. The superintendent has recommended that the School Board award its $37 million school bus contract to two national companies and one local company. It could save the school system $3 million next year, but it would also put out of business more than 100 local contractors who have served the school system for 54 years.

Earlier articles: The Jacksonville City Council has approved a resolution urging the Duval County School Board to make every attempt to award school bus contracts to local businesses. The resolution was seen by some council members as a direct challenge to Superintendant John Fryer, who has recommended awarding the contracts to two national companies and one consortium of local contractors....Local bus contractors have filed a protest to prevent the Duval County School Board from awarding any contracts to fulfill the school system's $37 million transportation program.

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