On Sept. 1, a new law will take effect, requiring school districts to ensure that all school buses are equipped with 3-point seat belts by 2018.
This means that several local districts are eyeing their budgets to find ways to afford the purchase of new buses. In Leander, for example, Leander ISD officials are considering sending a $454 million bond package to voters this fall that would include $10.2 million to purchase 88 new buses, according to Community Impact Newspaper.
The law, which Governor Greg Abbott signed on June 15, was authored by State Sen. Syliva Garcia, D-Houston and is touted by supporters as a measure that will help to reduce fatalities and injuries in school bus crashes. Opponents argue that requiring the purchase of new buses puts an undue financial burden on strapped school districts.