Some parents express frustration over non air-conditioned buses in Baldwin County

Questions were raised to the superintendent.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 10:20 PM CDT
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BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WALA) - Some parents were concerned Thursday night about why Baldwin County school buses aren’t air-conditioned.

Questions were raised to the superintendent at the school board meeting in Bay Minette.

According to Superintendent Eddie Tyler, they’ve never been air-conditioned.

Tyler says it’s a problem they’ve been working on for a while.

One parent, Michael Edward, wanted to know why he wasn’t informed.

“It was hot last year. It’s hot this year. And I guess it’s gonna be hot next year,” Superintendent Tyler said. “We’re gonna do our best to elevate the condition of our buses as quickly as we can.”

There are more than 400 plus buses in his school system that don’t have AC.

Edward says his two children attend school in Daphne.

He became concerned when his daughter came home from school one day, noticeably hot.

“We were not aware that the buses did not have AC. And I understand that, that’s something that can’t be fixed,” Edward said. “I work for the government I know how budgets work. When we had that heat wave my daughter had come off the bus sweaty, red-faced, lethargic, and overall fatigued.”

Superintendent Tyler says the buses have never been air-conditioned.

“I know some people have said well why didn’t you let us know buses aren’t air conditioned? Well, buses have never really been air-conditioned in this area,” Tyler explained.

Edward felt communicating this could have been done differently.

“Putting out an email such as buses do not have AC. The heat index is 95 and above. The buses will operate but please practice due diligence to keep your child safe,” Edward suggested.

Superintendent Tyler says it’s an issue that’s already been addressed and is in the process of being fixed for next year.

“We’re working on air conditioning our buses. John Wilson our CSFO is in the process of working with transportation,” Tyler said. “We should have a little bit over 100 buses next year air-conditioned.”

Tyler says it would be too expensive to go in and add air conditioning to the 400-plus buses.

But he says slowly they will begin pulling those buses outside of the school year.