Macon County meets bus deficiency deadline

Posted by: Melissa McKinney - bio | email

TUSKEGEE, AL (WSFA) - As Macon County Interim Superintendent, Dr. Jacqueline Brooks never intended to take the job, but had a change of heart.

"I felt it would not be fair to leave that work incomplete," she says.

She's talking about the system's bus deficiencies--a problem she walked into and one she wanted to finish.

Macon County schools had until today to get all county buses up and running.

WSFA 12 News broke the story of a state investigation that found nearly half the county's buses had serious mechanical problems putting children in harm's way.

Brooks says the problem is fixed.

"In needing to do that I decided to stay with the job."

Brooks says all 50 buses are now running properly as leaders work to get corrected inventory lists and schedule routine bus inspections.

But it's not just the transportation department.  Brooks says it's time for some house cleaning system wide.

"We have to get back to the basics of running a school," says Brooks.

That includes making sure students are top priority, creating a strategic plan, and ensuring kids know what's expected of them.

"It's going to start there with the leadership," says Karen Robinson.

Robinson is anxious to see how Brooks will move Macon County forward.

"I hope Dr. Brooks takes the school in a positive direction," she says.

Brooks says parental input from folks like Robinson is key, especially since she also has a daughter there.

"I hear from her every single day and see first hand what goes on from a parent perspective. So, their voice is very important to me," says Brooks.

Brooks also plans to reduce the number of buildings the system has open during the day to help with utility and maintenance costs.

Even with proration, the system is ahead with one month's operating costs in reserve.

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