Several state education officials have criticized the report, saying it may hamper their push to consolidate schools in West Virginia.
"We're not doing a good job of getting the word out about the positives of consolidation," said Sandra Chapman, a state Board of Education member. "We need to address that in public."
Last week, Stewart vowed to scrutinize school closing documents to ensure that future consolidations don't force long bus rides on large numbers of children.
In past years, some counties submitted incomplete school closing reports, failing to state the number of students who would ride buses over state guidelines. The state Board of Education approved the closings.
The Department of Education plans to survey county transportation directors in October to find out how many children statewide exceed guidelines. Stewart plans to compile the data by the end of the year.
"We need to get a handle on this," said state board member Barbara Fish. "We need to know."
The state last examined student travel times in 1996.
To contact staff writer Eric Eyre, use e-mail or call 348-5194.