South Carolina is buying 24 used school buses from an Alabama school district that replaced them with new vehicles, the S.C. Department of Education said Wednesday.
It is the third time in the past six years that South Carolina has bought used school buses. In 2005, the Education Department bought 72 used buses. Last year, it bought 81 more used buses.
The S.C. General Assembly approved a plan to annually replace school buses in 2007, but it did not budget any money to upgrade the states oldest-in-the-nation bus fleet in the last two years. To buy the Alabama buses, the Education Department used money it raised from selling to scrap metal companies the skeletal remains of S.C. buses cannibalized for replacement parts.
State Superintendent of Education Jim Rex said buying the 24 Alabama buses, an average of 11 years old, would allow his agency to retire 23- and 24-year-old buses.
The Education Department bid to buy 44 buses being retired by Talladega County, Alabama. The states 24 winning bids averaged about $8,000. The mileages on the used buses range from 44,000 to 110,500.