NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The school bus company that transports most public school students in New Orleans has laid off its drivers in a dispute over $7.2 million in unpaid bills.

Blaine Krage, a spokesman for Warrenville, Ill.-based Durham School Services, told The Times-Picayune on Tuesday that the company has sent termination letters to 142 drivers and 55 bus monitors telling them "we will not need their services this upcoming school year."

Krage says the Recovery School District owes Druham $7.2 million, or more than half the value of its one-year contract, which ended June 30. He says some of the charges date back to 2011.

Durham also provides service for a smaller number of students attending schools under the Orleans Parish School Board, but those students apparently aren't affected by the layoffs.