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The Return of the Bus Issue



The School Bus Issue again! 

Holy smokes – this thing keeps coming back like Freddie Krueger! 

For what was supposedly a settled issued it has certainly taken on a zombie-like life of its own. 

Now certain fractious members of the Ava R-I Board, not satisfied with having denied the bus operators an increase in pay, refuse to fund an independent audit to determine whether the operators are actually over compensated, as some believe, or do not receive enough. Come on, folks, you’ve saved far more than that by squeezing the operators this year; fund the audit. 

There is, apparently unbeknownst to them, a serious shortage of people willing to take on the responsibility of transporting students for what has been traditionally low pay.  

Districts are finding it extremely difficult to recruit and retain drivers. At least one is offering $1,000.00 signing bonuses, others are increasing pay and / or benefits; retirement, health care, etc.  Check it out board members. 

I would call their attention to the KY3 news segment of October 26: “Nationwide School Bus Driver Shortage Hits Springfield,” and also to the following: 

National Association for Pupil Transportation – Facebook

The driver shortage is a challenge for many operations across the country. Share this piece by Good Morning America, featuring our friends at School Bus Fleet Magazine and #NAPTMember  Douglas County School District RE-1, and let people know how rewarding a profession it can be – Robin Roberts sure thinks so!

School Bus Driver Shortage Remains Top Challenge – Fleet …

In addition, a driver shortage study conducted by the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) 2, yielded the following responses: 

• 37% indicated that the bus driver shortage is either severe or desperate for their company or school district.… 

Bus, driver shortages force cancellations for some JV teams … 

A survey of officials in busing companies conducted by the National Association for Pupil Transportation found that about half of those surveyed believed that salary, benefits and work hours were factors in their ability to find and keep bus drivers.…

And there’s more; those board members need to do a little research on the subject of school bus driver shortage. They’ll find ample documentation of a problem. 

They just need to look around at nearby districts for a start. 

The Ava R-I District has a transportation system that has worked well for it for over 60 years. The schools have never had to close because there were no busses to take students to or from school.  If school is open the busses run. They run every day, just like they have for those past 60 years. 

And yet they tamper with it. They even refuse to find out if they are paying properly for the system the have. 

Curious –

Ed Peterka