Pupil Transportation


School Bus Driver Instructors


October 21, 2010


Marion Edick, State Director Pupil Transportation Services


Planning Information for the 2011 Professional Develop Seminar

In reply to:

Registration & Classes


Some of you might not have been in attendance at or heard about the discussion regarding the 2011 PDS that transpired at the last Commissioner's SBDI Advisory Committee Meeting.

            Governor Paterson’s veto of the Article 7 Language removed SED authorization to expend the $400,000 for the School Bus Driver Safety Training Program.   Accordingly, we had to tell both of our vendors, PTSI and Safety Rules, that effective July 1, 2010 they had to desist all work on any of the contracts that they had with SED for the SBDSTP. 

            We had sincerely hoped that the NYS Legislature would have time to reinstate more portions of the Article 7 language before they returned home for election campaigns.  While we hoped for the best, we did plan for the worst.   I met with both PTSI and Safety Rules to discuss with them the possibility of a contingency plan should we not receive a reinstatement of funds in time for the PDS or at all.   I based my plans on those that Gregory Illenberg and I used for the 1995 & 1996 PDS classes.  Those were 2 years in which SBDIs were charged to attend the PDS and receive the school bus driver, now also monitor and attendant, refresher training materials.   SED authorized the former vendor, Eastern Suffolk BOCES, to write the curricula and deliver the PDS classes at a bare minimum cost price of $115 and $165.

            I am happy to say that our vendors have stepped up with a total willingness to continue the program, to make cuts and slash our prices even further, while continuing production of the excellent product that we have received over the years for our Professional Development Seminars and Refreshers.   As a result of those economies, including the elimination of a printed PDS Manual, we will be able to deliver the 2011 PDS, during the regular Spring time schedule, for a cost of approximately $85.00 per SBDI or well below the prices paid 15 years ago.   The price is approximate because it will be based on the actual number of SBDIs who attend the PDS and number of classes held. 

            I still sincerely believe that we will have a return of State funding for the SBDSTP.  I have not heard that we will experience any definite cuts in funding although rumors abound before election day of a 20 percent cut in State services and costs.   While I anticipate the return of funding, I expect that we will receive a cut when across the board cuts are made to State funded programs.  Due to the fine work of NYAPT and NYSBCA, we know that legislative staffers think highly of the program and recognize the importance of continued investment in safety training programs.

            We have decided to hold off conducting registration for the PDS classes until the last moment, hoping that we will have a return of enough State funding to pay for the PDS.  Accordingly, PTSI will conduct registration for PDS classes using their online registration process beginning on or shortly after February 1, 2011.  At that time SBDIs will be to register using a credit card or school Purchase Order.   If funding is reinstated after registration we will do everything we can to see that SBDIs and/or their employers do not actually end up paying the cost for attending the 2011 PDS.

            I have received a number of phone calls recently regarding registration so I thought it appropriate at this time to formally share this information with you.   I remain hopeful that we receive funding for the 2011 PDS, but wanted everyone to know that the SBDSTP and the requirements in law and regulations will continue to be met.

Last Updated: October 22, 2010