Dorchester District 2 parent concerned about school buses without A/C

VIDEO: Dorchester District 2 parent concerned about school buses without A/C

DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - School is back in session and some parents in Dorchester County are in disbelief that their kids are riding buses without air conditioning.

A spokesperson for Dorchester District 2 says they have received bus replacements through allocated funds over the years, but not all buses have air conditioning in them.

The district says all special education buses have air conditioning and many new buses have them, but as the buses get older, they are more prone to having these types of problems.

Paul Swanchara has three children that go to DD2 schools. He says this problem has been ongoing and something needs to be done.

“We have some buses that don’t have air conditioning so that bus is hot, “ said Swanchara. “These kids get off at the bus stop, their hair is wet, they’re sweating, and their faces are red because of the heat.”

He lives in Westcott Plantation and says the neighborhood is the second to last bus route. He says he gives his kids a thermos with a drink just for on the way home, so they stay hydrated.

The school district has 155 buses they run a day, with some buses doing as many as three routes. The district says that although they hear the concerns from parents, there is not much they can do with fixing the air conditioning.

According to the district, the money for school bus replacements and additions come from state funding. Large-growing districts like DD2 aren’t getting enough funding to replace and repair all the buses.

Regardless, Swanchara says it’s a problem that needs to be addressed.

“The state government needs to fix it and they need to fix it now,” he said.”This is the beginning of the school year.”

Live 5 News has reached out to Berkeley County and Charleston County School districts for the number of buses they have without air conditioning.

CCSD says they have 241 state-owned buses for transportation, 157 Durham-owned buses, and 60 CCSD-owned activity buses. Out of that total, 118 buses don’t have air conditioning. The district says their goal for next year is for all buses owned by the vendor to have air conditioning.

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