An item on the upcoming HISD board agenda calls for the district to sell 50 school buses to Galveston ISD to replace those lost in Ike.
The cost: $682 each.
HISD says that figure is "the average sale price of a school bus that HISD has received from past auctions." To which we asked: Really? A couple hundred bucks gets you a school bus?
The answer, apparently, is yes.
HISD sent us the spreadsheets of the last two bus auctions, in February and October of last year. Looking at it, the price does seem reasonable.
In February, five different buses all sold for $350 or less, with the lowest going for $200.
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SHOW ME HOW
Now sure, these were all at least 20 years old and probably get inches per gallon of gas, but they do seat a whole bunch of people. Not comfortably, not with seatbelts or a/c, but they do seat them.
Out of 50 or so buses sold in the two auctions, only seven fetched four figures. The highest price was for a 1995 Spartan Crown, a no-doubt tricked-out creampuff of a ride that sold for $1,900.
Now, we don't really want to speculate on how great the buses Galveston kids will be getting are, since they were scheduled to go to auction. Cash-strapped GISD obviously hopes to squeeze a few more years out of them.
And then, maybe, sell them for -- oh, say twenty bucks or so. If they're lucky.