Friday, August 15, 2003

Bus Blues

Great gravy, has school resumed already? I've had to stop in traffic, seeing the yellow busses with the railroad crossing quality warning signals flashing ahead, letting kids on and off.

Every year, I get to thinking about the costs of bsuing kids to school. No- this isn't a complaint about desegregation busing. This is a complaint about busing kids in general.

With all of the charges of childhood obesity and poor physical condition, the bus looks like yet another enabler of that condition. Let the kids discover that they have legs, and that those things below the waist do a remarkable job of propelling from A-to-B.

With all of the budgetary shortfalls school administrators endlessly wail about, consider how many more books, computer labs, athletic items, and heck, roof repairs, could be had, if not for the expenditures related to busses:

The bus itself
Fuel for the bus
Maintenance for the bus
A bus barn
Property on which the bus barn sits
Security for these facilities

The salary of the bus driver
Benefits for the bus driver
Matching taxes- social security, workers comp., etc, for the driver
Ditto these three for the maintenance staff
Ditto these three for security

Insurance on the bus itself
On the bus barn
On the property on which the bus barn sits
On the bus driver
On the maintenance staff
On the security

I think of all of the fuel wasted in traffic as cars sit while mommies fuss one last time before the kid gets on the bus. I think of it in terms of lost money and gained pollution. I think of the time lost. I think of the lost opportunity for a nice, brisk, one-mile daily walk in the morning. I think of property released for other uses, generating tax revenues in so many ways. I think of new books, repaired roofs, new tubas, and new athletic gear. Get rid of the busses!

Certainly, the savings would be enough to put one copy Atlas Shrugged in the teacher's lounge, and a copy of The Road to Serfdom on the School Board President's desk.

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