Spearman: Governor Putting Safety of Students at Risk

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - South Carolina Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman responded to Governor Henry McMaster's budget veto of $20.5 million for new school buses in South Carolina Monday.

“By vetoing funding for the purchase of new school buses, the Governor is putting the safety of our students at risk," said Superintendent Spearman in a statement released Monday afternoon.

McMaster vetoed the funding allocation on Monday, saying lawmakers should not have used money from the lottery to buy or lease them. The $20.5 million in funding vetoed was part of an overall allocation of $28.9 million for new school bus leases and purchases for approximately 414 new school buses. 

"Our school bus fleet incorporates more than 1500 buses that are over 20 years old and not only are these old buses twice as expensive to operate and maintain, but they are also experiencing structural and mechanical issues," Spearman said, citing the following bus breakdown numbers.

SC School Bus Breakdowns By Year* 

Year    No. of Route Buses

1988   171                                    

1990   141                                        

1991   15                                             

1992   58                                             

1993   5                                                

1994   27                                                

1995   1,103                                             

1996   76                                              

1997   3                                            

1999   23                                                 

2000   43                                               

2001   181                                                             

2002   133                                                 

2003   193                                          

2004   34                                                       

2005   48                                             

2006   36                                           

2007   701                                 

2008   521                                        

2010   2                                          

2011   2                                   

2013   342                                        

2015   539                                                       

2016   431                                                   

2017   258    

* SOURCE: SC Department of Education                                      

"I am deeply disappointed in the decision to veto this essential funding and remain committed to working with the General Assembly to override it and ensure South Carolina’s students have a safe means of transportation to and from school,” said Spearman. 

RELATED: 

2016 School Bus Report (SCDOE)

$20 Million for Bus Funding Vetoed by Governor

Governor McMaster's Statement on Budget Vetoes:

 

 

 

 

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