Acadiana parishes have reported worsening shortages of school bus drivers over the past several years, and apparently it’s not just a local problem.
School districts throughout the U.S. are struggling to find school bus drivers, a challenge that has worsened with low unemployment and a strong economy, ABC reports.
The problem has become so severe that some districts are offering sign-up bonuses for new drivers, while others rely on mechanics, custodians and other school employees to fill the gap. For parents and students, the shortage can mean longer waits for a ride to school and more crowded buses, the network is reporting.
The shortage stems from a variety of factors, including limited work hours and high barriers to entry. Drivers generally need a commercial driver’s license, which requires training, sometimes without pay, Mike Martin, executive director of the National Association of Pupil Transportation, told ABC.
“Unless you have something to fill in the gaps (between drives), you can’t make the money you need to support your family,” Martin said. “These days, most people are looking for some kind of regular, full-time hours.”
To read the whole story, click here.