The results from this year's Missouri Highway Patrol inspection of school buses across the state are in, and the wheels on most buses are going around just fine.
Patrol personnel inspected 12,047 school buses Feb. 2-May 5. Of all the buses inspected, 90.24 percent were approved with no defective items noted, according to a news release.
Buses with one or more defective items, which do not constitute immediate danger, are marked "defective." Buses with defective items that constitute immediate danger are rated as "out-of-service."
Defective buses may continue to transport students until the necessary repair is made. School districts are allowed 10 days following initial inspection to repair identified defects before being re-inspected.
Out-of-service buses must be repaired, re-inspected and placed back into service before any students can be transported on them. Buses not presented for re-inspection within the required 10 days are reported to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Across the state, 925 buses — 7.7 percent — were found to be defective and 251 — 2.1 percent — to be out-of-service.
A total of 276 school districts received the Patrol's Total Fleet Excellence Award, which is earned by having an approval rating of 90 percent or higher with no out-of-service buses. For the 2017-18 school year, 6,181 buses in these recognized fleets are eligible to display the Total Fleet Excellence sticker in the lower corner of the first window on the passenger-entry side of the bus.
By these rules, Blair Oaks R-2's buses are eligible for the seal of excellence but not the Jefferson City, Cole County R-5 (Eugene), Cole County R-1 (Russellville) or Southern Boone County R-1 (Ashland) school districts.
Blair Oaks had 21 buses presented for inspection, and all of them were approved. Last year, the district had three out-of-service buses and 17 of 22 approved for a rating of 77.3 percent.
Jefferson City and Eugene had approval ratings above 90 percent.
Jefferson City's 92.2 percent approval rating is down from 96.3 percent in 2016. It had two out-of-service buses out of 77.
Eugene's 91.7 percent is an improvement from last year's 66.7 percent, now with one of 12 buses considered out-of-service.
The Russellville school district had an approval rating of 66.7 percent, down from 72.7 last year. It had two defective buses and one out-of-service bus out of nine.
The Ashland school district had an approval rating of 85 percent, up from 77.8 percent in 2016, with one defective and two out-of-service buses out of 20.
The South Callaway R-2 School District also had an approval rating of 100 percent, with clean inspections for 20 buses — the same approval rating as last year, with two fewer buses this time.
The New Bloomfield R-3 School District also had 100 percent approval of its 12 buses. New Bloomfield was not included in last year's inspection results.
Fulton's school district had an approval rating of 94.1 percent, down slightly from 97.1 percent last year, with one defective bus and one out-of-service bus out of 34.
The Eldon R-1 School District had an approval rating of 86.7 percent, down from 90 percent last year, with four defective buses out of 30, compared to last year's count of one defective bus and two out-of-service buses.
Other individual school district results from this year and last year are available at mshp.dps.missouri.gov/MSHPWeb/PatrolDivisions/MVI/index.html.