Fairfax County, Virginia’s school bus drivers are continuing to drive their daily routes and getting paid to do it – even though students are attending classes virtually on their home computers.
An e-mail from a Fairfax school administrator reveals that bus drivers are driving empty school buses around every day, despite the fact that all students are being taught online, The Washington Post reports:
Starting Monday, “all drivers and attendant[s] will be required to run their routes twice a week to sharpen your driving skills,” reads an email Wednesday from an administrator to a team of drivers at a Fairfax County high school. “If you are unable to perform this task . . . you must put in for leave.”
The email, obtained by The Washington Post, says this kind of route-running will continue “until we go back to school.” Fairfax on Tuesday started the school year fully online for its 189,000 students.
“This is like something out of some kind of Soviet central-planning misadventure,” a National Review editorial comments, noting that the empty-bus trips will worsen traffic, pollution, and carbon emissions in order to avoid making cutbacks in public spending:
“This is like something out of some kind of Soviet central-planning misadventure: Fairfax County, Va., wants to keep paying its school-bus drivers even though its schools are operating online. The solution? Send the drivers out to drive anyway. Not only the drivers, but the attendants on the buses, will be required to go on these ghost trips. “All drivers and attendant[s] will be required to run their routes twice a week to sharpen your driving skills,” reads an email Wednesday, obtained by the Washington Post. “If you are unable to perform this task . . . you must put in for leave.”
“So school buses will be adding to traffic, pollution, and carbon emissions, all in the name of avoiding cutbacks in public spending that are of dire importance when tax revenues have wilted.”
“Fairfax superintendent Scott Brarand boasted in a message to staff that no drivers or food-service employees would be furloughed for the entire 2020–21 school year. Taxpayers will just have to go along with the idea that the purpose of their “public servants” is to keep serving themselves.”
Brarand’s full message in posted on the Fairfax Public Schools website.