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Kingsport BOE backs lengthening service life of school buses

December 5th, 2013 11:44 pm by Rick Wagner

Kingsport BOE backs lengthening service life of school buses

KINGSPORT — The city’s Board of Education has gone on record in support of loosening the restrictions on using older school buses, as long as they can still pass inspections.

In addition, the BOE at its Thursday night meeting learned that meetings have been set up for Innovation Academy of Northeast Tennessee teachers and parents.

The meetings come in the aftermath of the board’s decision last month to withdraw from the joint Sullivan County-city STEM program at the end of the current school year.

The meeting for city teachers from IA will be today at the Administrative Support Center, while the parent meeting will be in the same location at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, Dec. 12.

The school bus resolution, recommended by the Tennessee School Boards Association, urges a change in Tennessee law that says school buses can transport students up to 200,000 miles over 15 years or for that distance over 17 years with twice-a-year inspections by the Department of Safety.

The resolution calls for the state “to eliminate or at the very least increase the caps on school buses to enable districts to run them as long as they are safe and passing inspections conducted by the Department of Safety.” 

Superintendent Lyle Ailshie said each bus costs the city system about $100,000 and that three buses at the end of this school year and two at the end of the next must be replaced under the current state law.

BOE member Andy King said that translates to spending more than $500,000 over two years that could be delayed.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Friday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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