Fairfax County Is Running Empty School Buses

An employee takes a break while clearing a basketball court at Glasgow Middle School, a Fairfax County Public School, during a deadline for families and teachers across the country to decide between teaching / learning from home or in the classroom due to the coronavirus, in Falls Church, Va., July 15, 2020. (Kevin Lamarque / Reuters)

This is like something out of some kind of setback of Soviet central planning: Fairfax County, Virginia, wants to keep paying its school bus drivers, even though the schools are online. The solution? Send the drivers to drive anyway. Not only the drivers, but also the attendants of the buses will have to make these ghost tours. “All drivers and supervisor[s] will have to travel their routes twice a week to hone your driving skills, ”reads an email Wednesday, obtained by the Washington Post. If you cannot perform this task. . . you must apply for leave. “

So, school buses will add to traffic, pollution and carbon emissions, all in the name of avoiding cuts in government spending that are of huge importance when tax revenues are down. What happens if one of these buses crashes on one of the phantom routes? What happens if people are killed or injured for no reason? I suppose the province will simply pay the resulting legal damages, again from public funds.

Food staff in schools is also unnecessary as long as the online education model continues. So what happened to them? No layoffs. Not even leave. Everyone still receives their fixed salary. In August, Fairfax superintendent Scott Brarand bragged in a message to staff that no drivers or food service workers would be on leave during the entire 2020–21 school year. Taxpayers will simply have to agree that the goal of their “officials” is to continue to serve themselves.

It is a wonder that states, municipalities and other government agencies are delaying the day of tightening their budgets. It seems like every government agency in America is just waiting for a democratic government to spend free money to bring them in and save them. Does anyone seize the opportunity to reduce future structural costs? Not that I can see.