Aging, broken-down school buses are leaving schools across York County without enough vehicles to get students to class on time, officials said.
Spare-part shortages cause delays, they said, and overburdened mechanics struggle to keep up with repair needs.
It's a problem across South Carolina, where more than 60 percent of school buses are at least 16 years old and half have traveled more than 200,000 miles.
Although the Legislature announced in 2007 that buses would be replaced at 15 years old, lawmakers have balked at spending during the recession.
As of June, about 1,500 of the state's 5,672 buses were 21 years or older, according to Department of Education bus records obtained by The Herald.
South Carolina is the only state that owns and maintains its schools' buses. Local districts have no power to replace old buses, and only state mechanics are allowed to fix them.