$34M won't replace all buses quarter-century old

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's school bus fleet is so old, Superintendent Mick Zais' $34 million request for new buses won't even replace all buses that have been on the road for a quarter-century.

The schools chief told a House budget-writing panel the money would allow the Department of Education to replace buses that are at least 23 years old.

But it wouldn't replace all of them.

The money would buy roughly 415 buses, fulfilling the 2007 law that calls for replacing one-fifteenth of the fleet yearly.

Numbers the agency provided The Associated Press show the statewide fleet includes 245 buses that are 23 years old, 754 buses that are 25 years old and 88 buses that are 26 years old. Agency spokesman Dino Teppara said Wednesday age and total mileage would determine which buses are replaced.

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