TERRY BRANSTAD, GOVERNOR

KIM REYNOLDS, LT. GOVERNOR

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
BRAD A. BUCK, DIRECTOR

June 2, 2014
Steve McDermott, Supt.
Creston Community School District
801 North Elm Street
Creston, Iowa 50801
Supt. McDermott;
A school bus inspector with the Iowa Department of Education visited your district on Friday, May 30th in
regards to call-back inspections on school buses that had been inspected initially on March 26, 2014. At
the initial inspection in March, a number of buses were found to have deficiencies. Inspection deficiencies
fall into three categories:
1. Notes: these items are minor and typically don’t require an immediate repair but rather just put
you on alert to upcoming concerns
2. 30-day repairs: these items need to be repaired within 30 calendar days and typically are not
major safety concerns, thus allowing the vehicle to be used for student transportation during the
30-day repair timeframe
3. Out-of service (OOS): items that impact the immediate safety of the vehicle and need to be fixed
prior to the vehicle being used again for student transportation
In addition, once a 30-day repair item rolls over past the 30 days allowed for repair, that vehicle then
becomes an OOS vehicle, thus falling into the guidelines of not being allowed to transport students until
repairs have been made.
All vehicles inspected on March 26th, with the exception of #1 and #17 (granted extensions due to parts
being on back order), had been verified on the DE website as being repaired by the school district. Upon
the call-back inspection on May 30th, buses # 20, #3, and #36 were found to have deficiencies that still
remained from the original inspection. Those deficiencies were an “inoperable Right rear red warning
light” on #20 an Out of Service Item, a “broken seat back” on #3 an Out of Service Item, and a “right front
shock lower fastener loose” on #36 an Out of Service Item.
Again, despite these deficiencies still being present, the school district had verified them as being repaired.
At the very least, this amounts to falsified reporting of repairs, and could potentially be construed as fraud.
In addition, it would appear these vehicles likely have been used for student transportation during the
period between March 26th and May 30th. This, despite the fact all three of them were deemed OOS since
the date of the original inspection on March 26 th. Vehicles, dates and mileages are as follows:
Vehicle
#20
#3
#36

Date/Mileage
3/26 – 175,762
3/26 – 25,550
3/26 – 127,899

Date/Mileage
5/30 – 175,946
5/30-27,123
5/30 – 130,912

Difference
184
1573
3013

Grimes State Office Building - 400 E 14th St - Des Moines IA 50319-0146
PHONE (515) 281-5294 FAX (515) 242-5988
www.educateiowa.gov
Championing Excellence for all Iowa Students through Leadership and Service

The Department of Education protocol for falsification of school bus inspection repairs and/or use of outof-service (OOS) vehicles for student transportation is as follows:
1. Report the situation to local school district officials, including:
a. Transportation Director
b. Superintendent
c. School Board President
2. Report the situation to the Iowa State Patrol for any possible legal action or charges to be filed.
3. Per the Iowa Freedom of Information Act and Open Records Law, if requested, the DE would be
under obligation to share any and all inspection records with any member of the public, including
the media.
As a reminder, Iowa Code 285.15 clearly states that any superintendent found guilty of knowingly
operating or permitting to be operated any school bus in violation of any school transportation law
(includes inspection criteria) shall be deemed guilty of a simple misdemeanor:
285.15 Forfeiture of reimbursement rights.
The failure of any local district to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any
other laws relating to the transportation of pupils, or any rules made by the department
of education under this chapter or the final decisions of the area education agency board,
or the final decisions of the department of education shall during the period such failure
to comply existed forfeit the rights to collect transportation costs from school or parents
while operating in such illegal manner. Any superintendent, board, or board member who
knowingly operates or permits to be operated any school bus transporting public school
pupils in violation of any school transportation law shall be deemed guilty of a simple
misdemeanor.

Please find enclosed the following supporting documents:
1. Inspection summary from the initial inspection conducted on March 26, 2014
2. Inspection summary from the call-back inspection conducted on May 30, 2014
3. “School Bus Inspection Information” sheet provided to all Iowa school districts via email on
August 29, 2013
Please let me know if you have any questions or comments. Per protocol, a copy of this letter is being sent
to the superintendent, transportation director, school board president, and the Iowa State Patrol.
Regards,
Jeff Berger, Ph.D.
Deputy Director
Iowa Department of Education
400 E. 14th. Street
Des Moines, IA 50319
(515) 281-3968 Work
(515) 250-3728 Cell
(515) 242-5988 Fax
jeff.berger@iowa.gov
www.educateiowa.gov