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Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesDeal Allows St. Croix School Buses to Roll for Opening Day

Deal Allows St. Croix School Buses to Roll for Opening Day

A two year agreement hammered out Friday evening by Department of Education officials and contractor Abramson Enterprises Inc. will allow for the continuation of school bus service on St. Croix.

Negotiations between the two sides stalled after Abramson issued the Department an ultimatum, which involved VIDE paying $317,964 in upfront costs in addition to a fuel surcharge. That stalemate prompted the department to issue a statement Friday evening that St. Croix students would not have school buses when schools open Tuesday.

The government’s team was able Friday to cut the upfront cost down to $150,000. The agreement, which covers both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, is expected to expire next September.

"We definitely thank Mr. Rudy Abramson and his team, along the members of our team, for working together to resolve the situation amicably," acting Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory said Saturday. "Our top priority was making sure our students were transported safely once school opens on Tuesday, and we did what we needed to in order to make that happen."

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"We also want to apologize to our parents, once again, for creating anxiety, but it was very important for us to let everyone know ahead of time what the situation could have been," Frett-Gregory added. "We continue to thank everyone for their understanding and patience."

Frett-Gregory also thanked Bureau of Motor Vehicles Director Jerris T. Browne for his help in ensuring that the buses were inspected and registered over the weekend.

Stressing the importance of safety, Frett-Gregory further reminded students to behave appropriately when riding the bus.

"We want to make sure that this school year gets off to a good start, and our students can help by being considerate and displaying proper conduct while on the road," she added. "We now look forward to a smooth first day of school, and on behalf of the Department of Education, I extend best wishes to all of our students for an exciting and productive new year!"

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A two year agreement hammered out Friday evening by Department of Education officials and contractor Abramson Enterprises Inc. will allow for the continuation of school bus service on St. Croix.

Negotiations between the two sides stalled after Abramson issued the Department an ultimatum, which involved VIDE paying $317,964 in upfront costs in addition to a fuel surcharge. That stalemate prompted the department to issue a statement Friday evening that St. Croix students would not have school buses when schools open Tuesday.

The government's team was able Friday to cut the upfront cost down to $150,000. The agreement, which covers both the 2012-2013 and 2013-2014 school years, is expected to expire next September.

"We definitely thank Mr. Rudy Abramson and his team, along the members of our team, for working together to resolve the situation amicably," acting Education Commissioner Donna Frett-Gregory said Saturday. "Our top priority was making sure our students were transported safely once school opens on Tuesday, and we did what we needed to in order to make that happen."

"We also want to apologize to our parents, once again, for creating anxiety, but it was very important for us to let everyone know ahead of time what the situation could have been," Frett-Gregory added. "We continue to thank everyone for their understanding and patience."

Frett-Gregory also thanked Bureau of Motor Vehicles Director Jerris T. Browne for his help in ensuring that the buses were inspected and registered over the weekend.

Stressing the importance of safety, Frett-Gregory further reminded students to behave appropriately when riding the bus.

"We want to make sure that this school year gets off to a good start, and our students can help by being considerate and displaying proper conduct while on the road," she added. "We now look forward to a smooth first day of school, and on behalf of the Department of Education, I extend best wishes to all of our students for an exciting and productive new year!"