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TASD administration responds to Rayco Transportation criticism

Last Tuesday, Tyrone Area School District board members approved the termination of the bus contract with Rayco Transportation.
Reasons that Superintendent Dr. William Miller and Business Administrator Cathy Peachey cited at the meeting were an aging fleet and an inability to come to an agreement on the financials of the bus contract, citing the school district doesn’t pay bus contractors higher than the state reimbursement for transportation, and this is standard for school bus contracts in the area. The district mentioned that Bellwood-Antis, along with others in the area strictly pay the state reimbursement and nothing higher.
On Saturday, The Daily Herald ran an article in which Denise Beck, Vice President of Rayco Transportation Inc., criticized school district officials, specifically Dr. Miller and Peachey, for implying certain facts about her company and her contract requests to the school board and community that she said are not true.
In response to her statements, Dr. Miller told The Daily Herald on Monday, “First of all, on behalf of the district, we thank Denise Beck for her service as a contractor for the past 33 years, plus the work of her father, Jesse Ray.”
He said the contract between the school district and Beck was already signed.
Dr. Miller wanted to make it clear that Peachey worked on the contract and that the school district met with Beck on numerous occasions to do so, but the stumbling block for it to work was ultimately the cost of Beck’s liability insurance.
“Those were the terms she agreed to, and the contract was officially approved by the board,” said Dr. Miller. “This is the identical bus contract approved by Barb and Mort Snider.”
He said the school district also worked on a plan with Beck to get the average age limit of her fleet of buses in line.
“It’s unfortunate it worked out this way,” Dr. Miller said, but he added the school district is looking at other options, saying, “We feel confident that contract will be picked up.”