Drivers Owed Thousands For Transporting Students

Melissa Edwards, Senior Reporter | 6 Opinions
Published: June 16, 2017 9:31 am AST
Grade 12 students of the Elmore Stoutt High School being dropped off for classes at the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College.
Photo Credit: Melissa Edwards/BVI Platinum News
The Ministry of Education and Culture currently owes some $26,000.00 to bus operators, for transporting Grade 12 students of the Elmore Stoutt High School (ESHS) to the H. Lavity Stoutt Community College at Paraquita Bay.

The Ministry was forced to place the students at the college campus, after the additional classrooms to accommodate the extra school year was not ready by the start of the school year in September 2016.

Hon. Myron Walwyn, Minister of Education and Culture disclosed that a total of $198,000 in expenses was incurred, to allow for the transportation services.

"The total amount paid for transportation of the 12th Grade students of Elmore Stoutt High School, from the Elmore Stoutt High School campus to H.L. Stoutt Community College campus, and vice versa, for the 2016-2017 school year is $198,446.00. Madam Speaker, this amount is inclusive of Bregado Flax Educational Center students also," he explained in the House of Assembly this week.

The Minister stated that the total amount in outstanding invoices to date, to be paid, is $26,999.00. "Madam Speaker, this is the final amount due for the school year."

He further explained that all transportation cost associated with the 12th Grade students has the current balance of $187,328.00.

However, he said, "It is important to note that the balance of $187,328.00 is for usual bus transportation."

Minister Walwyn stated that the additional buildings are intended to be completed for the beginning of the 2017/2018 school year, therefore, no transportation should be required for Grade 12 students from Elmore Stoutt High School to HLSCC.

Meanwhile, he said that the teachers, who had to commute between the Elmore Stoutt High School campus and H.L. Stoutt Community College campus, in order to teach the 12th Grade students during the 2016-2017 school year, were given an allowance to help defray some of the additional cost.

The total amount paid to date to the teachers is $19,179.47, and the Ministry is awaiting the claim forms from the teachers to process payment for April 18 - May 12th, 2017.

The Minister said the current balance is $820.00.

"The policy used to guide the awarding of the teachers’ remuneration package for the above listed transportation expenses were the Motor Car Mileages Allowance, and Madam Speaker, all teachers who commuted qualified for the reimbursement."

Hon. Walwyn said that at this time, there is no projected cost for the teachers of Elmore Stoutt High School for the 2017-2018 school year.

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