DESOTO COUNTY, MS (abc24.com) -
Mississippi's largest school district keeps getting bigger. More students in DeSoto County mean more bus riders, that means the county needs more buses.
Erma Taylor's kids are some of the 18,000 to 19,000 who ride the bus in DeSoto County.
"We need the buses. I think they are overcrowded," she says.
The school board recognizes that, voting this week to buy more.
"We try to buy new buses every year and rotate some of the old buses out. In the last few years that's been a little less consistent because we've been watching our dollars really tight. The state keeps cutting funding and that affects us," says John Caldwell, director of transportation.
With so many new students, Desoto County has to buy now. The new rides will cost around $75,000 each. "We're going to spend about a million dollars," Caldwell says.
They'll be put to use right away, added to the county's fleet of 400. "We've just got too much growth to phase out any," Caldwell adds they'll seat 71 kids each and will be the safest on the road.
"They're all meeting federal standards. Those standards continue to increase, so every time we buy a new bus, it's that much safer than older buses."
"That's best to know," says Taylor. "They're keeping up with it so our kids can be safe."
New buses should be here by Thanksgiving.