DOE school transportation deemed inadequate
Questions concerning transportation for local school kids are always arising, with some parents complaining that their children have no choice but to pay money to catch the aiga bus to and from school.
According to the local Department of Education, the local school bus fleet consists of 35 buses. As of last month, 7 buses were under repair and 3 were listed as “need surveyed”
The total number of buses on the road is 25, including 2 buses in the Manu’a Islands. All school buses transporting students to and from the Early Childhood Education (ECE) program everyday have already been installed with back-up alarms.
According to information from the DOE, fuel cos for the school buses alone is over $100,000 per year and they have exhausted their entire maintenance budget within the first quarter of the fiscal year. DOE has only $500,000 in this year’s budget to cover all maintenance and transportation non-personnel costs.
Annual revenue under the 1% law has been approximately $1.5million annually. “We need every dollar of this tax to help renovate and maintain schools/classrooms” the new DOE director had told the Fono.