Wake school board requests money to fix or replace failing school buses

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Wake County School Board said it needs nearly $5 million to fix hundreds of buses and provide transportation options for special-needs students.

"We won't put buses on the road if they're unsafe," said Wake County School Board Chairman Dr. Jim Martin.

WCPSS said engines need to be replaced in nearly a third of the fleet. Martin said 300 buses need to be fixed.

An official told ABC11 that 50 diesel buses are failing and need to be fixed immediately at a cost of $1.4 million. The request for that money will go before County Commissioners.

There are still hundreds of other buses that will need to be replaced or fixed in the future.

The State used to pick up the tab for such repairs. The Board is going to ask the County for the cash and commissioners are expected to take up the request at their next meeting.

Martin said he's confident they'll get the money, and conversations have been taking place on the unforeseen needs.

He said the level of services for special needs is higher now than in years past.

"We want to provide services to every child," Martin said. "We believe in serving every child, every day. But that comes at a cost particularly for children that have higher needs."
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