Aging school buses making students late for class?

By Dedrick Russell - bio l email

YORK COUNTY, SC (WBTV) -  There is a major problem happening in York County School District #1.  Old buses are breaking down and causing dozens of students to be late for class.

The problem has been occurring since the beginning of the school year.

"That causes delays," Transportation Supervisor Richard Podmore said. "We have to combine routes. Double up routes. Wait for buses."

Podmore says some buses even break down on the side of the road with students on them.  The school district has even set up a transportation hotline for parents so they can call and check the status of their children.

On Wednesday the recording told parents that York Comprehensive High school bus #94 was running up to 30 minutes late.

York Comprehensive High School Assistant Principal Oliver Love said on average about 100 students are reporting late for their first class of the day, due to bad buses.

"The most important time of class is at the beginning," Love said. "When the teacher goes over the objectives and they are stated. The child can get left behind."

Love told WBTV teachers are reviewing the missed work with students so they won't get too far behind.

The school district has about 47 buses.  Many of them are nearly 20 years old and have thousands of miles on them.  The district was to get two new buses this year but the state cannot afford to purchase them, so the district is left with old buses to put on the road.

"They are going to have to start thinking outside the box," Podmore said.  
"To get us out of this dilemma."

Podmore hopes state leaders will allow the school district to send buses out to other mechanics to get the buses fixed.  Staff can't handle the work by themselves. Currently buses must be fixed within the school district.

The school district will continue to double up on routes until relief comes.

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