The batteries weigh roughly 100 pounds and can be sold for $50 apiece at a recycling center.
Parents in St. Albans picked up a video camera and tailed the bus to prove the route was longer than state law allowed.
School district in Franklin County would benefit from bill now in Missouri legislature.
Sen. David Pearce, declared that the bill is dead for the session that ends Friday.
State education officials are looking at ways to make the most of the limited amount of money available to pay for student transportation.
Illinois schools could either get rid of the buses or charge for carrying students each day.
The legislation would allow school districts to lease space on the inside and exterior of school buses for private advertisements.
Four students from Parkway High School in St. Louis County are recovering after their school bus collided with another school bus.
How the bus overturned is under investigation
Since spring of 2011, eight school buses in St. Louis and Jefferson Counties have gone missing.