Governor's veto on bus funding draws concerns from many

Governor's veto on bus funding draws concerns from many

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The issue of the age of public school buses across the Palmetto State once again resurfaced on Monday following the governor's decision to veto millions in new funding.

"This is not an issue that we believe should be debated,"  said Debbie Elmore with the South Carolina School Boards Association.

Governor Henry McMaster's veto denied more than $20 million to help school districts statewide purchase and lease more than 400 new school buses. If the veto cannot be overridden by the legislature new funding for buses would be capped at $11 million.

The money would have been set aside for the state department of education through the state's lottery fund. In his rejection, McMaster said he felt the lottery fund should only go to support scholarships for students.

For many, the $11 million is not enough to remedy aging bus fleets in school districts across the state. In some cases, bus failures have resulted in fires and injuries.

In March, six students athletes at White Knoll High School were severely burned when a radiator failed on a bus they were riding.

"It's just like being in your car...if you knew you had a malfunction with your car you wouldn't want your kids riding in it," said Teca Allen, whose children ride buses in the Richland Two School District.

At this point, it's not clear if or when the legislature will pursue an override on the bus funding.

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