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As Late School Bus Arrivals Continue on St. Croix, Dept. of Education Says It’s Working With Abramson Enterprises to Rectify Matter

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The V.I. Dept. of Education announced Saturday that it would address school bus transportation issues affecting the district of St. Croix.

The department did not provide details on the situation, but said it was working with contractor Abramson Enterprises, Inc. to rectify the matter.

“We apologize for the inconveniences families have experienced and are working closely with Abramson to ensure uninterrupted, timely bus service to and from school campuses,” D.O.E. said. “We thank parents, students, and schools for their patience as these matters are resolved.”

Parents and some educators have been complaining about the protracted school bus pickup times — including as late as 6:00 p.m. — from Abramson Enterprises. The company owns the older buses, while the V.I. Dept. of Education owns 15 new buses spread between St. Thomas and St. Croix that it procured for $1.73 million. However, instead of hiring bus drivers to operate the new vehicles, the department contracted Abramson Enterprises to do the job.  During a July 2021 Senate hearing, Dept. of Education officials revealed that D.O.E. was seeking a 3-year agreement with Abramson Enterprises for St. Croix school bus operations.

At the time Senator Donna Frett-Gregory passionately suggested that D.O.E. hire employees and utilize the buses it owns in-house. “In this [the St. Thomas-St. John] district we have school bus drivers within the Department of Education that provides school bus service to Special Education, correct?” After receiving a response in the affirmative, Ms. Frett-Gregory added, “I am going to leave it right there. I just feel like we have to do a better job of protecting this government. What is happening here is wrong.”

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