It happened on Boddie Mill Pond Road a mile west of U.S. Highway 58 in Nash County.
Troopers said the bus driver, 24-year-old Domenick Terrell Battle, reported he had problems with the vehicle's steering system and could not keep it under control. The bus went down an embankment and overturned in a ravine.
Eight students were on the bus at the time of the accident. No serious injuries were reported.
Authorities later charged Battle with "failing to maintain lane control" after the Highway Patrol checked out the school bus and determined it was in working order.
Battle has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson said the suspension is standard protocol following an accident.
"This is standard operating procedure for NRMPS in cases where a driver is cited while operating a school bus," said Jackson, "Mr. Battle is fully cooperating in the investigation and we appreciate all that he did for the students in the immediate aftermath of the accident."
Officials said Battle had only been driving for the school district for a week.