First Student attempts to block pupil transportation contract award

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Thursday, July 21, 2016 10:02pm
  • News

The Kenai Superior Court lifted a stay filed by First Student, Alaska’s largest pupil transportation provider, to bar the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District from awarding the next pupil transportation contract.

First Student alleged that the school district committed an abuse of discretion by announcing intent to award Missouri-based Apple Bus the contract, and would cause First Student irreparable harm by doing so. Kenai Superior Court Judge Anna Moran denied the stay Monday, stating in her decision First Student did not prove the company would suffer irreparable harm if the school district denied its proposal.

The Board of Education will take action on the contract award, set to begin at the start of the 2017-2018 school year, during a special meeting scheduled for 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 27. Board President Joe Arness, Superintendent Sean Dusek and Assistant Superintendent Dave Jones chose to bump the decision originally scheduled for the next regular board meeting.

“The board has the prerogative to schedule a special board meeting — they determined it was in the best interest of the district to schedule this special meeting with the topic of transportation, and not wait until August,” said Pegge Erkeneff, school district liaison.

School district administrators recommend board members approve a 10-year agreement with Apple Bus, and not renew with the current contract holder First Student. Apple Bus received the highest score in a review process of the returned Request For Proposals, or RFPs, and had lower daily rates than First Student. Apple Bus proposed $558.23 per regular education bus per day, and $740.49 per special education bus per day, which is 1 percent more than the school district’s current contract. First Student’s proposed rates were $564.31 per regular education bus per day, and $748.56 per special education bus per day, and would cost the school district nearly $1 million more over life of the contract than signing on with Apple Bus.

The contract decision was originally scheduled to take place June 6, during a regular meeting, but the board decided to postpone until the July 11 meeting because an appeals process had not yet been resolved.

“First Student chose to take the appeal process to the (superior) court level and had asked the court for a stay restricting KPBSD from awarding the student transportation contract to Apple Bus Company,” Erkeneff said in an email. “Prior to the board meeting on July 11, 2016, the court issued a temporary stay so the parties could brief the court on certain issues. Based on that temporary stay, the board postponed action awarding a contract until the court acted to lift the stay on July 18, 2016.”

It has not been determined whether the board will also take action on moving the southern Kenai Peninsula from a one to two-tier busing system.

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More in News

Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly Candidate Bill Elam waves signs on election day on Tuesday, Oct 3, 2023, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Voters take to the polls during Tuesday municipal election

Poll workers report low turnout across the central peninsula

Some of the pumpkins submitted to the pumpkin-decorating contest are seen here during the 5th annual Kenai Fall Pumpkin Festival in Kenai, Alaska, on Oct. 10, 2020. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai’s Fall Pumpkin Fest set for Saturday

The fun actually starts early, as a central element of the festival is a pumpkin decorating contest already underway

Aurora Borealis Charter School Art and Music Teacher Eleanor Van Sickle leads students in a performance of "Autumn Canon," a Hungarian song at a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education meeting on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Student serenade

Aurora Borealis Charter School students sing at the assembly during the regular school board meeting on Monday

Bear 747, defending Fat Bear Week Champion, stands on the bank of the Brooks River in Katmai National Park, Alaska. The winner of a Thursday matchup between Bear 128 Grazer and Bear 151 Walker will meet 747 in Fat Bear Week competition on Saturday. (Photo courtesy C. Cravatta/National Park Service)
Survival of the fattest

Paunchy ursine competitors go head-to-head in annual Fat Bear Week

Soldotna Elementary School Principal Dr. Austin Stevenson walks amid natural gas pipes anchored to the outside of school on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
High costs stall work on school bond

A cost estimate for the reconstruction of Soldotna Elementary School came back $13.5 million over budget

(City of Seward)
Police standoff closes Seward Highway

Police say standoff was with ‘barricaded individual,’ not escaped inmate

Mount Redoubt can be seen across Cook Inlet from North Kenai Beach on Thursday, July 2, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Alaska not included in feds’ proposed 5-year oil and gas program

The plan includes a historically low number of proposed sales

A copy of "People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska" stands in sunlight in Soldotna, Alaska, on Friday, Sept. 29, 2023. (Jake Dye/Peninsula Clarion)
Moose Pass to receive award for community historical effort

“People, Paths, and Places: The Frontier History of Moose Pass, Alaska” was a collaboration among community members

Most Read