Just because school is back in and the school buses are on the road, doesn’t mean it’s fall of the year. Temperatures are exceedingly in the 90’s in a number of states. If it’s hot outside, heat indexes in school buses can, and often do, rise in the 130’s and up. Many school districts have no requirements that new or replacement buses come equipped with air conditioning. Price is the main factor. Most districts simply cannot afford to have A/C systems installed in their buses, whether the district owns them or the state furnishes buses to the district.
With A/C on board, studies show that incidents of violence and student discipline are greatly reduced. Driver retention goes up, there is less driver distractions, and fatigue and problems from medical conditions are less.
There are ways to keep students marginally cooler: have water available, make sure the windows are working properly to be able to open them when needed, have children dress in layers (mornings might be cooler, but afternoon temperatures may soar).
Next week we will discuss OSHA, Congress, and federal regulations concerning this issue and how you can help protect our children.