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Tri-State school districts fight school bus driver shortage

School buses will be combing Tri-State roads again in a couple of weeks.

Administrators said while they have plenty of buses, finding drivers is a problem.

Bus driver instructor Dan Bartelt said several districts across the Tri-States are in need of drivers. Some of that is because of the split shift hours, usually in the morning and then afternoon.

But they also try to find people who are personable to watch over students and communicate with parents. He said the shortage often puts a heavier workload on other employees.

“Because all routes have to be covered, sometimes the folks in the office have to come out and drive a route,” Bartelt said. “Sometimes we send mechanics out to drive a route. That’s not their primary function, that’s not their job. They’re all well-trained, same training as any school bus driver, but they have other things they must do.”

He said many school districts are also looking to add to their pool of substitutes, as they’re in need of subs when drivers have to go on field trips.

Officials say you can apply to school districts on the district websites. If accepted, you’ll have to go through state training. He said although it’s a part-time job, benefits are available.

 

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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