UniteGPS – The latest community to combine roles in response to bus driver hiring shortages is the Louisiana school district, Webster Parish School Board. Officials approved full-time teachers and counselors to cover school bus routes this past week, according to the Minden Press-Herald.
Navigating through murky waters as far as bus driver staffing goes, the school board passed this measure at a meeting on March 14 ensuring that candidates will earn separate checks for teaching and driving, in addition to the benefits.
With three teachers already behind the wheel, this measure comes at a time when school districts across the country are trying to sustain operations by any means necessary.
Bus drivers and teachers
Behind this double-duty policy is the policy that only teachers and counselors can drive buses on the side since they cannot earn overtime. Teachers will also be driving during the lunchtime shift since they aren’t available in the mornings and afternoons.
Like thousands of other districts, Webster Parish School Board is experiencing a severe shortage of bus drivers. Supervisor of Transportation Jeff Franklin told the Minden Press-Herald that the school board usually hired new drivers from the substitute list, but there’s currently not one to choose from.
“I just hope we can get a few more people to drive routes for us,” said Franklin, concerned about new federal CDL training regulation and the number of current drivers approaching retirement. “We’re in a great need for some help.”