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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

EBAY - We can sell anything. Even your flood damaged school buses

Another one for the "you've got to be kidding me" file...

New Orleans is going to sell the flood damaged school buses on EBAY to raise some money for the school district. Can anyone recall WHY the buses were flooded in the first place? Whose fault was that? And is everyone in political office in Louisiana named Landrieu?

Starved for cash, the New Orleans school district is taking a long shot and hoping to sell its flooded, unsalvageable school buses on eBay.

Some submerged to their roofs in the black flood waters, the yellow school buses were widely photographed in the days after Hurricane Katrina and have become an icon of the city's devastated school system.

School officials acknowledge the sale of the buses on the Internet auction site may puzzle some people used to more traditional school fundraisers like bake sales.

"There's no shame in it. Not one bit," said school board president Phyllis Landrieu. "This is a new mechanism for selling things. I think it's very upbeat what we're doing."

Only 23 of 117 Orleans Parish public schools have reopened. They face a $111 million shortfall _ about a quarter of the district's $430 million annual operating budget. The district also has $264 million in outstanding debt, carried over from before Hurricane Katrina.

A total of 85 schools flooded, and wind damaged many more. It took three months for the first public school to reopen. Now, the schools that are holding classes have around 9,500 students, about 15 percent of the 60,000 enrolled before the storm.

The school district plans to put one bus up for sale on eBay this week. If it succeeds, more of the 259 ruined buses will be offered. "It's an example of how bad the situation is that we would have to come up with this idea," said Richard White, schools spokesman. The district plans to contract out its student transportation.

I may get in on the bidding just so I can drive it to all the anti-Bush rallies. Anyone know where I can get a banner that says "This is your bus. This is your mayor. This is your bus when your mayor abdicates any shape or substance of responsibility."

Just to refresh your memory...

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