Schools worry a bus driver shortage is coming

Schools worry a bus driver shortage is coming

PARAGOULD, AR (KAIT) - School districts across the state could be seeing a shortage in bus drivers, thanks to new legislation.

As of January 1, 2015, part-time school employees, like bus drivers, are no longer able to get full insurance benefits.

Gene Weeks, Greene County Tech Assistant Superintendent, said many of his drivers are retired school teachers, making them excellent candidates for driving a bus.

He is worried the lack of benefits will force many of those good bus drivers to quit.

"Most of our bus drivers are retired and drawing a second income or supplementing their retirement income with their bus driving," Weeks said. "And so the law is going to have an effect not only on Greene County Tech but all of the bus drivers and school districts across the state."

While they are not seeing a shortage right now, Weeks said the district, along with Paragould School District, is hiring substitutes.

The district wants to have plenty of subs in the case some drivers do quit.

He said good bus drivers are vital to the success and safety of students.

Weeks said those interested in applying to be a bus driver can contact any local school district.

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