South Carolina got the money by selling the skeletal remains of old buses to scrap metal companies.
The state Education Department announced the purchase today. South Carolina is the only state that runs a school bus fleet.
The Legislature approved a plan in 2007 to replace the fleet every 15 years. But no money has been set aside to buy buses for two years.
State Education Superintendent Jim Rex says buying buses that average 18 years old is not ideal. But they will allow the state to get buses off the road that are 26 or 27 years old and average 450,000 miles each.
The average price this year is about $3,800. South Carolina bought 73 Kentucky buses in 2005.