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A $48 Million Ride- School District Taxi Cab Service

For the Good of Illinois“47 School Districts spent tens of millions…
$48.864 Million on taxi cab service (2006-11)”
For The Good of Illinois, policy study

The promise was to “Open the Books.” Six months ago, we posted the pay and pensions of nearly all public employees at every level of Illinois government.

On Tuesday, May 1st, we’ll post the vendor spending of every Illinois school district from 2006 through 2011.

 When you click at open the books.com, what will you find?

Here’s what we found…

822 of 870 Illinois school districts haven’t hired a taxi cab service. But, 47 districts all in northern Illinois have spent tens of millions.

See the map of the “taxi cab” districts here.

Township High School D214 in Arlington Heights is the taxi cab leader- $6.836 million (2006-11). 303 Taxi is the district’s top vendor and has been paid out $3.489 million, click for annual amounts.

Last year, Township High School D214 spent $1.379 million- that’s $7,454 per day or $37,270 per week on taxi cab rides!

Here’s the top five school districts (2006-2011):

Township HS District 214, Arlington Heights…                 $6.836 million
Maine Twp HS District 207, Park Ridge…                             $4.501 million
Evanston Twp HS District 202, Evanston…                         $3.753 million
Northfield Twp HS District 225, Northbrook-Glenview…  $2.310 million
Hinsdale Twp HS District 86, Hinsdale…                             $2.309 million
Source: openthebooks.com

To review a pdf of the entire spreadsheet, click here.

On Tuesday, May 1st, what will you discover in your local school district?

Be a part of the transparency revolution! 

Hank Kruse | Chairman
For The Good of Illinois

Incoming Executive Director        Past President & Founder
Bruno Behrend                           Adam Andrzejewski

PS.  Download your “Open The Books” iPhone App. See all your local government salaries.

Leave a Comment

3 Responses to "A $48 Million Ride- School District Taxi Cab Service"

  1. Comment by Art Ellingsen on April 27, 2012 at 10:50 pm said:

    Has anyone bothered to ask why?

    Has anyone bothered to ask who these Taxis are transporting?

    When we ask how much without asking why, we only get part of the picture.

  2. Comment by Bruno Behrend on April 30, 2012 at 8:02 am said:


    The spending is going almost entirely to ferrying special education students to district campuses or special schools.

    One only need to understand how districts, state mandates, and bureaucracy operate to know that there is probably a better option. No one really looks at those options. They merely take the bureaucrat’s word for it when told there is not other way.

  3. Comment by L. Miller on May 1, 2012 at 3:19 pm said:

    Several years ago, when I was serving on a north suburban school board and it was my turn to look over the vouchers to be approved, I noticed that there were several hundred dollars for taxi cabs. Correct, these were for special education students to be transported to special out-of-district programs.

    It is important to know that State Regulations require that the special transportation expenditure must be approved by the special education “team” and included in the child’s Individual Education Plan. Sometimes the expenditure is not. Sometimes a secretary just approves the taxi. If it is not properly approved, it is an unauthorized expenditure. The exercise of professional judgement is important.

    I also noted that we were spending more money to transport a child two suburbs away than it cost to travel by taxi to O’hare Airport, a considerably greater distance.

    At the root of all this shuttling is that a number of special education functions for our District were delegated to the North Shore Special Education District (NSSED) which serves many school districts. So it imay have been necessary to transport the student out ot the district to the site of the program.

    Where there is no cooperative out-of-district special ed, these expendiutes may not appear.