Letter: School bus costs questioned



A few months ago, I read a story in The Columbian detailing the local school districts’ student transportation costs. The thing that jumped out at me was the gap between most districts and the Battle Ground School District on a cost per rider basis, with Battle Ground much more expensive than the rest. I attributed some of this to the vast geographic area the District covers.

In the Sept 6 edition of The Columbian, there is a story, “New buses carry B.G., Hockinson students,” detailing the purchase of 41 new buses. It says that the daily fleet totals 113 buses. Later in the story, it details the sale of 39 of the “old” buses (“1996-1998 and up”) and states: “Well-maintained, the vehicles can soldier on for years.” Really? If so, was there really a need to spend more than $3.7 million for new ones?

I support education monetarily and through practice, but I tire of the perpetual “classrooms in crisis” news stories and then read things like this. There are plenty of places to cut costs besides teachers, but the headlines aren’t as good. “Battle Ground SD decides to stand pat on bus fleet” won’t cut it in today’s society.

Jeff Deringer