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Bus Driver Shortage is Causing Schools to Close in St. Martin Parish on Friday

Schools in St. Martin Parish are set to close on Friday because there aren't enough bus drivers to provide transportation this week.
Posted at 6:18 PM, May 16, 2023

Nearly six-thousand students across St. Martinville Parish can stay home on Friday.

In a statement from the Superintendent of the St. Martin Parish School Board, Frederick Wiltz said, "Our recent school closure was caused by the large number of regular bus drivers who will be out on Friday. We have a small list of substitute drivers on standby, but the amount of regular drivers is too large to adequately cover."

However, some parents in St. Martinville said their children rely heavily on bus drivers.

"The parents need to get on top of that," "Big D" Johnson said. Johnson said his 17-year-old, step-son attends Westgate High School in New Iberia and rides to bus to get to and from school.

"We need more buses around here so these schools can get more kids in them and get their education going on," Johnson said.

Glenn Hebert, Owner of Glenn's Flower Box said although his son is 26 years old, his heart still goes out to students who don't have their own vehicles or parents who can provide them with transportation.

"I feel very sorry for the kids that don't have rides to school because that's their means of getting to school and getting an education," Hebert said. "I just feel that maybe something can be done to try and get these kids in school."

Clarence Stewart Jr. said he attended St. Martin High as a freshman back in the seventies. He said perhaps providing bus drivers with a sign-on bonus may be a solution to the problem.

"This is a cry out for anybody who is willing to participate to be a bus driver," Stewart said. "Give your time. It's much needed."

Right now, bus drivers in St. Martinville make $110/per day, while substitute drivers make $65/day, according to the superintendent.