By Dave Russell

Jackson County Public Schools Transportation Director Josh Francis reported last week to the Board of Education the results of his department’s recent audit by the Department of Public Instruction.

The audit looks at school bus inspections, bus inspector’s performance, bus maintenance records and inventory of parts, he said.

“I am extremely proud to inform you that our inspection was great this year,” Francis said. “Our score on yellow buses was 12.5, down from last year’s 49.25. Our white bus score was 15, down from last year’s 75.”

The scoring is like golf – the lower the better.

“Our mechanics, coordinator, fuel truck driver, inventory clerk, bus drivers and our shop foreman’s hard work and dedication has really shown bright this year for JCPS students,” he said.

The average score in the state was 42.6 on yellow buses, he said. 

The inspector for the western region covers 32 counties JCPS transportation services scored third among them.

Five points is the lowest score possible.

“I’ve seen 150 points before,” Francis said. 

Francis acknowledged some of the workers who made the score possible. 

“Ricky Morgan, he’s one of our mechanics at the shop, his bus was inspected at Cullowhee and received five points,” Francis said. “I also would like to recognize Brandon Bennett, who had a perfect score. He had zero defects. There are over 400 defects that can be found on a school bus, and his bus was perfect.”

Mechanics must recertify every five years. Brian Brooks recertified this year, making 96 percent on his test, Francis said.