School bus driver shortage creates headaches for districts

January 2, 2019 | Associated Press via ABC News

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.

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 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, said Mike Martin, executive director of the National Association of Pupil Transportation.

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