Community Speaks Out Against Possible Outsourcing of School Jobs - FOX 21/27 WFXR Roanoke/WWCW Lynchburg News, Weather

Community Speaks Out Against Possible Outsourcing of School Jobs

Posted: Updated:

After the Roanoke County School Board found out they would be receiving less money from the state next year in addition to having to pay an extra $2 million to pension funds, they are already considering outsourcing certain school jobs.

That was the hot topic of discussion Thursday night as concerned employees and parents spoke out.

If this is the route decided, it would affect school nurses, janitors, and bus drivers.

Concerned for his family's livelihood, Myron Powell was one of the first to address the school board.

He moved to Glenvar 11 years ago with his family to become the pastor for Glenvar Baptist church, but without insurance he decided to become a school bus driver on the side.

Now, after years of service, he worries he could lose his job and benefits.

"There are about 150 drivers in the system," Powell said. "Seventy percent of them drive for their insurance and their retirement. What happens to those 70 percent when they lose their jobs?"

Ray Jamison took his concerns to the podium.

"They are hauling kids and they hauled their parents," he said of bus drivers. "These people know their neighborhoods and they know everybody there. They really care about them."

Bus driver Wilton Maxey says although the drivers still have jobs and have been told they could be rehired if the jobs are outsourced, he is worried the worst will happen.

"They will say they will rehire us," Maxey said. "They will not. Ninety percent of Roanoke City did not get re-hired when they outsourced."

Pointing out that Roanoke County Schools' curriculum has an emphasis on character, Powell asked the board to do the same.

"Roanoke County should be leading in the area of character," he said, "and some of your best teachers are the drivers."