A KXAN investigation shows school buses in Leander, TX lack air conditioning and cause children to overheat.
A new investigation by KXAN has found that many school buses in the Central Texas region lack air conditioning and can overheat due to hot weather. Their report found that 40-60% of school buses in Austin and Round Rock, TX don’t have air conditioning, which can let bus temperature to increase up to 118 degrees Fahrenheit. KXAN also discovered that air conditioning has never been the norm for most school buses and a new school budget approved in August does not include adding A/C units to the school’s fleet.
Parents have begun to worry about their children’s well being after seeing how overheated they were when stepping off the bus.
Erica Smith, one of the children’s mothers, explained, “I was mortified…And I saw the kids faces — they were bright red, their hairlines wet.”
With Central Texas temperatures staying over 100 degrees Fahrenheit within the first days of school, an updated school bus fleet with proper air conditioning has become a priority for parents. KXAN reports that “parents and students are calling on the school district to equip all of its school buses,” and more than 3,300 people have signed an online petition for the cause.
District Spokesperson Corey Ryan explained to KXAN that one school bus retrofit would cost “between $8,000 and $9,000,” and while there is budget approval on air conditioning retrofits in the yearly budget now, “the school board can approve revisions to the budget throughout the year.”