Audit: State’s education department doesn’t have effective oversight of school bus safety

An audit by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s office found that the state education department has been lax on oversight of school bus safety.

The audit found significant missing documentation for required training and safety elements.

The report also indicated a lack of communication among state education officials, and specifically the entity that provides training courses for districts and contractors.

Without proper training, transportation employees may not know what to do in an emergency, DiNapoli said.

“Parents need to have assurances from their local school district that the men and women transporting their children to and from school are qualified and have received the required training,” he said in a statement. The audit found SED “is not doing enough to monitor districts’ compliance. Stricter oversight by the department will lead to better-trained bus drivers, monitors and attendants and a safer ride for students.”