Longest School Bus Route in the State?

Gillette Vaira profiles what was thought to be the longest school bus route in the State of Montana with her “Taken for a Ride” series that first aired Tuesday night on KULR-8 TV, the NBC station in Billings. 

She joins us Wednesday morning at 9:06 AM on “Voices of Montana.”

In the series, she profiles a couple of brothers who travel 100 miles a day  to get to and from school.  In another report, a Montana girl who had to drive herself 140 miles to and from school each day finally dropped out of school.  Another girl drove herself to school despite only having a learners permit. 

What is the longest school bus route in the state?  What’s the ride like?   How do kids and families cope, especially with extrcurricular activities? 

Plus, Vaira’s initial inquiries for her Master’s Thesis at The University of Montana’s School of Journalism led to some interesting findings, and how school officials appear to be over-billing the State of Montana. 

Watch her first report here.

Here’s an excerpt of her first piece:

The Office of Public Instruction, also known as OPI, recognizes the route as the longest in the state.

“Roundtrip it’s 144 miles from the time I leave the shop here ’til I get back to here,” McRea says.

But that’s not what administrators at Beaverhead County High School are telling county and state education officials. BCHS reports route No. 4 as being 268 miles per day, or two round trips daily. However, the bus only makes one round trip per day from Wisdom to Dillon and back.

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