The Leander ISD Board of Trustees approved a plan to ensure all 126 route buses for general education routes will have air conditioning by Summer 2019.
The $8.1 million plan – funded primarily through voter-approved 2017 bond money – calls for expediting the purchase of 66 new buses and the retrofitting of 60 existing buses. The district will also use money from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) and the 2007 bond to fund the program without dipping into its general operating balance.
“We appreciate the input we’ve received from our community on this topic. This is the right time to make this change. Our team has helped us develop the right method of funding, using bond funds intended for the same transportation purposes.” Board President Aaron Johnson said. “Partnering with our community to identify and solve issues in this manner demonstrates how Leander ISD is driving continuous improvement in all areas of our district.”
The district purchased 16 buses with air conditioning as part of its initial bus fleet refresh, funded through 2017 bond funds, earlier this year. The bond also included 12 replacement buses for special education, which currently have air conditioning.
“We heard our community and took action to meet students’ needs,” Board Vice-President Grace Barber-Jordan, M.Ed., said. “As a result of the fiscal conservatism of this Board and the voter-approved funds, we were able to create this opportunity for students. ”
The district will use some of its existing, non-air conditioned fleet of buses for its trip bus fleet, reducing the cost for charter buses to field trips, competitions and events.
“I want to thank our Board for funding this initiative to put us on par with our neighboring school districts,” Superintendent Dan Troxell, Ph.D., said. “We are fortunate to have a Board who listens to our community and takes decisive action when we have the resources available to do so.”