Hoboken to privatize school buses, lay off drivers as part of budget cuts

Superintendent Mark Toback says the proposed budget includes as many as 60 layoffs throughout the school district, including the entire transportation department. (5/8/14)

HOBOKEN - A proposal to privatize school buses in Hoboken is expected to save the district money, but will change how students get to and from school.

Superintendent Mark Toback says the proposed budget includes as many as 60 layoffs throughout the school district, including the entire transportation department.

Some parents and the union president say it's a bad idea not only for bus drivers and other staff members, but also for the kids.

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"These people have been working over 30 years with them," says Hoboken Education Association President  Gary Enrico. "They know the kids, they know the families, they are from Hoboken. So our kids will now be picked up by strangers and transported by strangers and we're not happy about that."

Other layoffs will come from administration, maintenance and security. 

Toback says the cuts are the result of budget issues, including a loss of revenue, combined with increased costs.

The district recently had a payment increase for expanded charter schools in the city.

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