School buses are parked in a lot at a district office. (File/FOX Carolina)
COLUMBIA, SC (AP/FOX Carolina) -
Nearly half of South Carolina's 342 new school buses are coming to school districts in the Upstate, according to the South Carolina Department of Education.
Superintendent Mick Zais said Thursday that students with disabilities are much more likely to get to school on time, and the savings from operating new buses means more money for classrooms.
South Carolina spent $28 million on buses costing $82,000 each. The oldest buses in South Carolina's fleet carry students with disabilities. Some have logged more than half a million miles.
The new arrivals will replace all models from 1984 through 1987, plus some from 1988. They include lifts and wheelchair spaces.
Education Department spokesman Jay Ragley said 104 of the buses are earmarked for school districts for all 10 of the counties in the Upstate.
The last significant purchase was 529 buses during the 2007-08 school year. In 2007, legislators approved replacing the statewide fleet every 15 years, but they ignored the law amid the economic downturn.
Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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