Some school districts face bus driver shortage; working to recruit

News

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – For some school districts, school has already started and others start next week. But the question is this…are there enough bus drivers to get students where they need to go?

16 routes and 21 people is how many bus drivers “Waverly Community Schools” has on the road this year.

“We are fully staffed with 5 extra drivers,” said Beth Gimm-bergh; Supervisor of Transportation for Waverly Schools.

Gimm-bergh says that is a relief compared to previous years

“It’s a part time job, it’s a lot of responsibility for not a lot of money and you know you break up your day…you’re here for two and a half hours in the morning, two and a half hours in the afternoon so it’s hard to get people to commit to doing something like that,” Gimm-bergh stated.

While “Waverly Community Schools” may have enough drivers to get their school year off to a great start, other districts including “Lansing” and “East Lansing Public Schools” do too but could always use a few more.

“We could easily use about 20 to 25 employees that we will bring in and be able to train and be able to get them going immediately,” said Kellie Dean; President/CEO of Dean Transportation.

Dean says he takes pride in assuring only the best bus drivers sit behind the wheel.

“In our world, we’re working with kids and so we are going through extensive background checks, we want to make sure that the individuals have great driving history, driving records,” Dean stated.

And at the end of the day, both Gimm-Bergh and Dean say if you have an appreciation for kids there’s nothing quite like the job of a bus driver.

“You can make or break that child’s day and you build those relationships with those kids and it’s very rewarding,” said Gimm-bergh.

6 News caught up with “Grand Ledge Public Schools” as well. The Assistant Superintendent says the district is still in need of three or four more bus drivers.

The Superintendent of “Bath Community Schools” says the district is doing okay, but is lacking in substitute bus drivers.

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