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BUCHANAN — The Buchanan school district used its Nov. 20 school board meeting to collect comments on a proposal to contract out busing services to help save money, according to the South Bend Tribune.

The atmosphere was tense as the audience appeared to be dominated by school district employees and their supporters, there to oppose what they deemed to be a threat to their livelihood.

“But at Monday night’s end, the message from almost 140 Buchanan residents, bus drivers and custodians remained clear to the Buchanan community Schools Board of Education — a message that was sent by several wearing lime green T-shirts and making irate retorts during a mildly heated session on the subject of privatization,” the Tribune reported.

Buchanan has lost 200 students in recent years and the district is facing a possible deficit of almost $229,000.

Jim Palm, assistant superintendent of the local Intermediate School District in Berrien Springs noted that Laidlaw Education Services, a transportation company, was expected to save his district $1 million annually for five years and students had been delivered to and from school safely by a different contractor 20 years.