Parents Concerned About Crowded MISD Buses

by Anayeli Ruiz
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The first week of school is always a little hectic but this year Midland ISD is dealing with a lot more than usual. Massive student enrollment has lead to major headaches concerning their buses.

NewsWest 9 first heard about the issue through parents on our NewsWest 9 Facebook page.

They were complaining that the buses were too overcrowded and some didn't even have AC.

"They are taking more than three schools per bus but they are taking one bus with five schools. That's just way to many kids on that bus," One Midland Parent, said.

The first week of school is giving some MISD parents headaches.

They say buses are not consistent in pick up drop off times, different buses pick the students up every day. They're overcrowded and some of the buses don't even have AC.

"The air conditioner was broken, they told them to all sit towards the front together so they could get near the one vent that was working because the back one had a leak," one Midland ISD parent, said.

Midland ISD Superintendent, Dr. Ryder Warren, reminds parents it's the first week and they are still trying to work out the kinks, but they are dealing with more than they expected.

"We have seen such an increase in our enrollment it has just magnified that by factor of 10. We have right now almost 1,200 more kids in our schools then we did this time last year," Warren said.

Last year, they only had 500 new students but this year that number more than doubled.

Something that was not factored in MISD's plans.

"It is slowing our routes down; it's putting more kids on the buses than we anticipated. During the course of the summer, we planned for growth. We grew last year so we plan for growth, but we just didn't plan for 1,200 kids," Warren said.

MISD thinks that the growth has a lot to do with Midlands booming economy. People from all over the U.S. are coming to Midland to work. That means more kids are going to Midland schools.

"We are seeing so many more kids requesting to ride our buses. We are having to readjust routes and we are even having to add more buses. That causes another problem because we finished last school year with 40 less bus drivers than we have. We can hire 40 more drivers," Warren said.

Until MISD fixes the bus problems, parents say they will not rest their case.

"Until they figure something out and have air-conditioning in the bus, it makes you wonder what your tax dollars are going towards," one parent said.

MISD told NewsWest 9 that the buses that are not cooled, are normally in town. The county routes usually have AC, but they say that with more kids in town riding the buses they will add more AC buses to the routes.