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      Zais seeks $34M for buses, close of bonus program

      By SEANNA ADCOXAssociated Press

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Superintendent Mick Zais is again requesting $34 million for new school buses and asking lawmakers to close a teacher bonus program to new entries.

      Zais told a House budget-writing panel Wednesday that more than 60 percent of South Carolina's state-owned buses exceed 15 years old. He says it would take $34 million to comply with a 15-year replacement cycle legislators passed in 2007.

      His agency's last major purchase of 342 buses was in December 2012. Zais asked for $34 million last year. Legislators approved $23.5 million, which could buy 280 buses. The agency hasn't yet received all of that.

      Zais also repeated his recommendation to close an incentive program for teachers who earn a national certification, which provides an annual bonus of either $5,000 or $7,500 for 10 years.

      Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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