Parents to School Board: Clean up our county's schools

By: 
Dec. 11, 2013

The Volusia County School Board saved nearly $6 million by switching its custodial work to a private company. But parents are saying some schools are not as clean as they used to be

BY EMILY BLACKWOOD | STAFF WRITER

Overflowing trash cans, dead cockroaches and dirty floors were some of the many complaints by parents and school staff at the Volusia County School Board meeting Tuesday evening.

This year, the school board voted to turn over all public school custodial work to private contractor ARAMARK, in order to save $6 million over the next five years. The company began its work in July and, according to the President of the Volusia Teachers Organization, Andrew Spar, it’s been a rough ride ever since.

“It’s been brought to them many times, but this is the first time the School Board is actually doing a formal review,” Spar said. “They think everything is going great but I’ve heard from many parents that there are a lot of issues with the cleanliness of the schools.”

Russ Tysinger, director for maintenance and operations, and Charlie Graves, coordinator for maintenance and operations, presented a PowerPoint to the board that discusses the period of change that employees will go through.

“Change is an uneven thing,” Tysinger said. “Everyone has to work through the transition.”

Volusia County meets class size for 2013

An early Christmas present came  for Volusia County residents this year. At Tuesday night’s Volusia County School Board meeting, Dr. Robert Moll, deputy superintendent for financial and business services, revealed that the county made class size in 2013.

Though 800 students enrolled over projections, the county still managed to make the cut to stay true to the regulated class sizes. Moll said that adding 107 teachers helped the county reach that goal that was not met last year.