Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Busing Czar quits in Jefferson County Schools

What did she do to the environment?

The Courier-Journal reports that Pat Todd, the Jefferson County Public Schools director of student assignment – the czar of the district’s out of control busing plan – is leaving her job.

Todd leaves at a time, as the news article points out, “…when public objections over long bus rides are growing, legal challenges are continuing and a legislation that would unravel student assignment is pending before the approaching General Assembly.”

Pat O’Leary, a former Jefferson County School Board member, says, “We need someone with a little more open-mindedness to other solutions.” O’Leary favors neighborhood schools where parents, not a bureaucrat, get to select where their children are educated.

One point in the Courier’s article really caught my attention. It was Todd’s salary, which is $152,184 per year.

For some perspective, I checked the latest superintendent’s salary listing in the Kentucky Department of Education’s web site.

Out of the 172 districts that had superintendent salary information listed in 2009-10, only 11 districts paid their superintendents more than Ms. Todd received.

Somehow, that does not seem like a very good use of our tax dollars.

Tea Party, are you listening?

Test Question: What does Ms. Todd’s busing plan do to the environment?

Click the “Read more” link to see my estimate.

US Energy Information Administration says diesel produces 10.15 kilograms of carbon dioxide per gallon burned.

Conversion factor tables such as this one show 1 kilogram = 2.2046226 pounds

So, for every gallon of diesel Jefferson County buses burn, the air gets hit with another 22.37691939 pounds of carbon dioxide.

Partnership for a Green City – Louisville, says that the city’s school buses travelled 97,000 miles daily in the 2009-10 school year! They added more buses this year, so this number is low, now, but I’ll use it.

The American School Bus Council estimates a typical school bus gets 7 miles to the gallon.

So, every day, Jefferson County school buses probably burn around 97,000 miles / 7 miles per gallon = 13,857 gallons of diesel.

That means, every day, the buses put out 13,857 gallons * 22.37691939 pounds of carbon dioxide per gallon = 310,077 pounds of carbon dioxide.

That's 310,077 pounds of carbon dioxide EVERY DAY! That's 155 tons of the gas, EVERY DAY.

I’ll be happy to update this little math exercise if someone finds a better estimate or an error, but the final number is going to be a WHOPPING amount of carbon dioxide.

Thank you, Ms. Todd.

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