Friday, August 10, 2001

School van law ensnared in red tape fight




By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — The 120 high school golfers in Columbus city schools are practicing their drives, chips and putts for a season in which they may never participate.

        A bureaucratic logjam over using vans as transportation vehicles is threatening their season and the extracurricular activities of thousands of Ohio schoolchildren.

        The problem arose this spring after lawmakers allowed vans to be used the same way as school buses.

        The law has yet to be enacted because of a fight over writing the rules to implement the change.

        The Education Department wants local school boards to decide individually whether vans are used. The department also wants drivers to receive training and the vans to undergo safety inspections.

        Unions representing bus drivers oppose these rules, saying schools should use only regulation yellow school buses — driven by certified bus drivers — to transport children.

        This administrative catch-22 has left districts in limbo, because they can now be held liable for using the vans for extracurricular activities.

        A legislative rule-making body plans to debate the proposed rules Aug. 20.

       



400 more youths in jobs since mid-July
Pools profit from heat
Teen tells of street shootout
Buyers had ears to ground
Teens lend helping hand
Rally opposes Byrd's death
Rumble strips put on I-75
Seafood fest opens
Some locals back policy; others critical
Tristate A.M. Report
Dog dies; other animals ruin apartment
Get a taste of Fairfield police beat
Social service cuts considered
Court: Slurs did not void union vote
Ohio counties face huge chore to return child-support money
Ohioans can help redraw election boundaries
- School van law ensnared in red tape fight
Ailing workers' benefits received
Boone Co. celebrates with flair
Craven property search legal
Florence man indicted following U.S. 42 death
Goofy expired before his term
I-71 all clear for Speedway
Ludlow chief resigns
Police investigating death of woman, 20