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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Public School Buses- Why Are They So Antiquated?

My wife told me how her girlfriend, a PHD teaching education at a university, had remarked that the public school buses are horrible. When this friend was 8 months pregnant, the school bus driver did not allow her to accompany a field trip with one of her kids because the shocks were so bad on the bus that the bumps could harm the fetus. My wife asked me how school buses could be in the same condition that they were when we were kids. How could they not have improved at all over that time?

Was that a set-up or what?

I told her that public buses on the streets of NYC had to compete with trains, cars and private deliverers for passengers. Schools have a monopoly over its trapped patrons. There is no choice for almost all parents.

As I thought some more it came to me that another reason for no investment into better public school buses is the buyers in charge of the school budget do not consider the needs of the students. The focus of the budget winds up being the spender's needs be it immediate things like salary and office furniture or the "sexy" add-ons that draw praise like special needs-type curricula. Maybe the decision to purchase newer buses would be made by the carriers who contract with the municipalities. But, obviously, they get the contract without investing in new buses. The spenders recognize the expectations are for Spartan accommodations. In a free market such does not happen.

I had warned my wife before I answered that she would hear the same old explanation I give her whenever we discuss the state of public services. It sounds like a broken record sometimes but the simple economic analysis applies time and again. By the way, the professor-friend supports socialist health-care coverage and all other state controls. Even educators have trouble learning anything today.

1 Comments:

At 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent, love it! »

 

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