Fort Bend ISD clarifies release concerning bus safety after Local 2 investigation

By Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas - Following a review of the facts by Local 2 Investigates, the Fort Bend Independent School District has clarified an earlier press release regarding a school bus fire in May.

Previously, the school district had maintained no other school buses were found to have potential safety issues.

The new note to thousands of Fort Bend ISD parents, issued hours before Local 2 Investigates' story aired and less than a week before the beginning of the new school year, stated that another bus was found to have an issue, and that issue was corrected.

Local 2 Investigates obtained, through the school district, the original third-party engineering report regarding the bus fire. It points to an electrical malfunction as the cause of the fire.

According to the report, a similar worn part was found on a school bus of the same model and same year school bus in Fort Bend's fleet.

FBISD's administrator assured parents the school bus fleet is safe.

"We do a 60-point, bumper-to-bumper check every 90 days. Our buses are safe," FBISD Chief Operating Officer Max Cleaver said.

Local 2 Investigates has found that the average vehicle age of Houston area school bus fleets varies widely from district to district, and several districts are above a national survey average of nine years. FBISD matched the average bus age of nine years.

Results of average bus age from some local school districts, provided from the districts themselves:

  • Klein ISD: 278 buses, average age 7 years
  • Houston ISD: 1077 buses, average age 8.7 years
  • Fort Bend ISD: 467 buses, average age 9 years
  • Cy-Fair ISD: 942 buses, average age 11 years
  • Humble ISD: 270 buses, average age 11.3 years
  • Conroe ISD: 492 buses, average age 14 years
  • Aldine ISD:¬† 748 buses, average age 15 years

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