The Walton County School Board has agreed to spend additional dollars to add air-conditioning to new buses.
Any new school bus bought by Walton County district will have air-conditioning. The cost to add it to the eight previously approved buses is more than $66,000 dollars.
Walton School Superintendent, Carlene Anderson, wants the students who are on buses for the longest amount of time to have the A/C.
With some 7,000 students, the Walton School District is one of the largest in the state, stretching from the Alabama line to the Gulf of Mexico.
“It will cost more, but really, when you are talking about the safety and welfare of our students, you can't put a price to it," said Anderson
District Transportation Director Paul Work says at this time, the A/C buses are reserved for the students who have physical limitations.
With the price of diesel fuel skyrocketing, air-conditioning will decrease the miles per gallon.
"It will decrease the miles per gallon. Now, we are getting around six-miles per gallon. That will go down further, but it makes everybody happy," said Work.
Superintendent Anderson says A/C is no longer a luxury; it has become a necessity, especially among today's younger generation.
A total of 10 new carriers are expected to be online when the new school year gets underway in August.
Besides Walton, the Jackson School District is also in the process of purchasing new, air-conditioned buses.