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Michigan School buses inspected; some area districts did not pass

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The grades are in for area school bus safety inspections and some area districts didn't pass.

A just-released report highlights where some schools needed improvement.

Every district in Michigan had Michigan State Police inspect every bus. That's transportation of nearly one million students.

A parent pick up from Niles Community Schools is rare for Pamela Fisk's 16-year-old daughter, who usually rides home another way.

"She doesn't mind riding the bus....she hasn't had any bad experiences on it yet,” Fisk said.

But some buses in that fleet are failing. A Michigan State Police report inspecting buses for the 2016 school year shows Benton Harbor Area Schools had 57-percent of buses fail. St. Joseph Public Schools had 33-percent fail. Niles Community Schools saw 24-perfect of their buses fail, and

Buchanan Community Schools 14-percent of their fleet fail.

"The one that didn't pass could be the one that my daughter's riding in,” Fisk said.

"Fail" means repairs must be made before the bus can be driven again.

The Niles School System says necessary repairs have been made and all buses currently in operation met inspection. A spokesperson for the school system says in an email:

Niles Community Schools’ response.

“We are currently reviewing the Michigan State Police report. In the meantime, parents should be aware that the necessary repairs have been made and every Niles Community Schools bus currently in operation has met inspection criteria. In addition to state inspections, buses are checked before and after every bus ride, and comprehensive mechanical reviews are conducted throughout the school year.”

Buying a new bus is not necessarily a guarantee of passing. That's because the report also looks at buses still at dealerships.

St. Joseph Public Schools had four buses fail but say that lets them know what to fix.

"We have a fleet of 14 buses, that are monitored and maintained on a daily basis. During the inspection, we received four red flags, which were all minor repairs,” said St. Joseph Public Schools CFO, Kathleen Hamilton. "For example there was a spring broke uh underbody maybe compartment that needed to have some undercoating.”

When it's dealing with the one thing that matters to parents: any fix is not too small.

There's a passing grade for satisfactory conditions and a yellow category for buses deemed unsatisfactory. Those vehicles are safe for operation but must be repaired within 60 days of the original inspection.

You can look over the FULL REPORT here: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/School_Bus_Inspection_Results_For_School_Year_2017_-_Year-End_Totals_599765_7.pdf

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