Auxilio, contractor at center of local school busing issues, given 30-day notice

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- The bus company at the center of two local school district’s busing woes is now on notice.

The Monroe County Community School Corporation says the company has improved since the first day of school, but not enough. Now they’ve given Auxilio 30 days to shape up or the contract will be void.

Spokesperson Andrew Clampitt says it’s been a week since students went back to class and Auxilio still doesn’t have enough drivers or buses that meet their standards.

“The difficult part now is we have a contractor who we’ve contracted to fulfill 42 routes and they’ve not done so,” said Clampitt. “There’s no number underneath that 42 that’s acceptable.”

Auxilio was brought in to help relieve a years-long driver shortage on the corporation’s end and also fulfill the routes contract drivers had driven for decades.

“The shortage has definitely created some significant delays, which is frustrating for families," said Clampitt.

Clampitt went on to say he couldn’t speak for Auxilio regarding why they’re not fulfilling their contractual obligations. Auxilio isn’t talking either.

Over the past few weeks, Auxilio has failed to respond to FOX59’s repeated calls and requests for comment concerning busing issues in Monroe County and Muncie more often than not.

And now our investigation finds Auxilio is using this National Association for Pupil Transportation logo on its website without permission.

The NAPT tells FOX59 the logo they’re using is from several years ago and that they’re evaluating the industry trade group’s legal options.

A contract driver I spoke to says she’s disappointed, but not surprised given how poor a start Auxilio has had for the school year.

Mary Blake says she and others warned school board members that Auxilio’s bid was too low and it didn’t seem likely they could fulfill the contract at that cost.

“I told the school board this is not going to work, this is going to fail,” said Blake.

Clampitt says the corporation did its due diligence.

“Nathan Oliver and our director of transportation and his team did their research on this contractor with on-site visits and bus visits,” said Clampitt.

But Blake believes if she and other drivers saw the warning signs, the board should have too.

“We’re heartsick because these kids have had to go through this,” said Mary Blake. “This should never have happened. It didn’t have to happen.”

The corporation hopes Auxilio fixes its driver shortage and bus safety issues by the thirty-day deadline because they’ll have to implement a Plan B if they don’t. Clampitt says the administration is working overtime to figure out a potential solution.

For Mary, the fact that the administration is even in this position speaks volumes about the decision.

“It’s failed our students, it’s failed our teachers, it’s failed our community and it’s not fair,” said Blake.