The Carroll County school system will coordinate a contract for schools statewide to have bus drivers tested for drugs.
The Board of Education approved a contract to the lowest bidder, National Center for Forensic Studies, for $294,609 to test bus drivers for all Maryland school systems for the next four years.
The estimated cost for Carroll County schools is $11,894 a year, said James Doolan, supervisor of transportation.
A new state law requires drug testing for school bus drivers, with some leeway for counties on how to implement it.
Carroll is coordinating the program because of Mr. Doolan's involvement in a group of state school transportation officials.
In Carroll, Mr. Doolan said, all prospective drivers will be tested before being hired. Current employees will have their names entered into a lottery. Five times a year, names will be drawn at random for testing.
Mr. Doolan said the lottery system means that one driver could be tested five times a year, or not at all in one year.
He said some counties require that in addition to the random testing, each driver take a test during an annual physical.
In other business at last Wednesday's school board meeting:
* Estelle E. Sanzenbacher was hired to coordinate the comprehensive student service program. The state Board of Education recently passed a regulation requiring high school students to perform community service to graduate.
* The board hired teachers Cheryl A. McDonough for the Head Start program at Piney Ridge Elementary School, Barbara S. Willet for learning disabled students at Taneytown Elementary School and Northwest Middle School and Patricia T. Finecey as a home teacher. It also hired adult education instructors Richard Sarrao, John Gazurian, Shawn Scanlan, Vickie Leidner, Ron Leese and Joanne Hay.
* The board awarded a contract for cafeteria food supplies four companies: to Carroll County Foods for $203,348; to Monarch/Baltimore for $66,904; to Antietam Paper for $7,813; and to Lance for $513.