Back to school rally excited Sumter County, superintendent responds to bus system issue

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Published: Aug. 1, 2023 at 10:29 PM EDT
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SUMTER COUNTY, S.C. (WIS) - Staff from the 24 schools in Sumter County came together at the Civic Center Tuesday morning.

Sumter County School District superintendent William Wright, Ph.D., expressed his excitement to continue to improve the district.

“I’m passionate about education every day just like how I was 26 years ago, and I’m looking forward to continue to grow this school district to be better every day,” Wright said.

Last spring, parents around the district expressed major concerns with the school’s bus system. Several times, buses were documented arriving at schools up to 90 minutes late, costing students valuable class time.

In June, WIS met with school board member Jeff Zell who chairs the transportation committee. At the time, he made a statement about the ongoing bus issue.

“It would be derelict for me to put a pin in this thing and never come back to it,” said Zell, “I would personally like to look at this thing every six months and follow up.”

Wright said no improvements have been made, but added that the board is being creative on having a solution to the issue very soon.

Wright said part of the issue involved not having enough bus drivers.

“We still have some vacancies and we’re also getting creative in terms of who can drive busses,” said Wright, “We’re really not leaving any stone unturned. We’ll be talking briefly with Shaw Air Force Base. We’re gonna look at alternatives to try to get people in seats.”

Wright stated that he is working with the school board to increase the salary for all classified workers in the district and is expected to have it finalized by the end of the month.

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