Rockford School District

"School buses" by Flickr User JohnPickenPhoto / (CC BY 2.0)

Rockford Public Schools bus drivers have reached a tentative contract agreement with the school district, the union representing the drivers announced Thursday morning. The agreement affects about 200 bus drivers.

Details of the agreement reached Wednesday night with district representatives will be released after a union meeting Friday, according to an email from union representative Anders Lindall of AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

The Rockford School Board race decided by the flip of playing cards two weeks ago may still be in play.

A discovery recount at the Winnebago County Clerk’s office Thursday morning, according to the Rockford Register Star, indicated possible vote total discrepancies in the write-in race in Rockford School Board Subdistrict A.

Eight write-in candidates ran for the seat in the April 5 election. Initially, Brandi Brown was told she was the winner and even started orientation with school district officials.

Susan Stephens / WNIJ

Update, 3/16/17 12:30 pm: This morning, the district released Wednesday's student attendance totals for all grade levels.  The official average attendance across the district was 77%. That's down from 92% the previous Wednesday. 

School attendance was down in Rockford on the first day of a three-day strike by school support workers.

Elementary school attendance in Rockford Public Schools was at 81%. That's down 12% from last Wednesday. Some parents had a hard time getting their children to class without school bus service.

Rockford School Bus Drivers Approve Strike

Nov 2, 2016
"SCHOOL BUSES" BY FLICKR USER JOHNPICKENPHOTO / (CC X 2.0)

Bus drivers are giving a greenlight for AFSCME Local 1275 to call a strike if a contract agreement isn’t reached.

The previous contract with the workers and the Rockford School District expired in June.

Main points of contention are wages and health insurance costs.

Ed Sadlowski, with the union, says the bus drivers are struggling to make ends meet.

"School buses" by Flickr User JohnPickenPhoto / (CC BY 2.0)

The Rockford School District could save more than $1 million on fuel to run its buses this year.

Officials say the cost of diesel fuel has dropped to its lowest point in 11 years.

The district budgeted $2.1 million for fuel this year but has only spent $503,000. The final tab is likely to fall below $1 million.

The Rockford Register-Star reports district officials are eyeing the purchase of used buses to upgrade its fleet.

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