(ConservativeHub.com) – School districts across the country have been having a tough time finding bus drivers as the new year gets underway, according to recent reports. The teacher shortages plaguing U.S. schools have made national news in recent years.
Still, the effect of the bus driver shortages is also dire, as in some cases school districts have had to cancel classes. A major district in Kentucky had to shut down for nearly a full week after school started when its plan involving fewer drivers when awry. The shutdown required Jefferson County Public Schools to claim multiple snow days in August, with no opportunity for virtual learning as a substitute option.
According to a report from Education Week, The National Association for Pupil Transportation CEO and executive director Molly McGee-Hewitt spoke about how one of the factors influencing the shortage is the “Amazon Effect.” This means many drivers are taking delivery jobs rather than bus driving jobs. McGee-Hewitt said Amazon tends to offer better pay and benefits, which is a big draw for job seekers. According to her, the issue has become increasingly prevalent since 2020.
However, she said most schools are keeping their heads above water with a variety of strategies, like increasing worker incentives, providing training, reworking routes, and more.
Marty Pollio, the Jefferson County Public School Superintendent, recently pointed out that the first day of school for many of the district’s students had been a “disaster,” Apparently, some students were not returned to their homes until around 10 p.m. He added that even making bus route changes had not resolved the issue.
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