Frederick County (Va.) Public Schools has approved the purchase of 19 school buses with money saved as a result of school closures during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Winchester Star reports.
During a meeting on Sept. 15, the district’s board agreed — in a vote of 6 to 1 — to shift more than $1.9 million in savings from the fiscal year 2020 operating budget to the fiscal year 2021 budget to buy new school buses, according to the newspaper.
Frederick County Public Schools reopened for the 2020-21 school year on Sept. 8 after the pandemic prompted school closures in late March, according to the district’s website.
School board member Brandon Monk, who was the only opposing vote, said, according to The Winchester Star, that he wanted the board to consider other possible needs within the district before coming to a decision.
The district's superintendent, Dr. David Sovine, told the board that Frederick County has a total of 89 school buses that are 16 years old or older, according to the newspaper. He also said 36 of the district's buses have 200,000 to 250,000 miles on them, and another 50 buses have more than 250,000 miles on them, according to The Winchester Star.
Funding for one new school bus was included in Sovine's recommended operating budget for fiscal year 2020, according to a document posted on the district's website.
The $1.9 million in savings is reportedly attributed to state sales tax revenue and savings from payroll expenditures, utilities, fuel, and a spending freeze that was implemented in the district.