COLUMBIA, S.C. -- The state school superintendent in South Carolina is pushing to get legislators to finally come up with money to pay for a new fleet of very old buses, money that is long overdue.
“Our bus fleet for many years has been noted as one of the oldest in the U.S.,” says South Carolina state education superintendent Molly Spearman.
She has been pushing for years to get help. Just how bad is it?
Seventeen South Carolina school buses have caught fire or overheated in the last two school years.
“They are in dire need of replacement,” Spearman pointed out.
Hundreds in the fleet date back all the way back to 1988. Another 900 are from 1995 but have rear-mounted engines that are malfunctioning and spraying hot steam on kids. Over a dozen kids have been hurt in recent years.
Spearman has asked for the $95 million they need to replace all the old and malfunctioning buses. The House and Senate are right now debating their budgets, but are expected to come through with at most one-third of what's needed to get rid of all the old and malfunctioning buses.
“The bottom line is we can no longer wait to address needs of student transportation.”