'As adults, we failed': New Jersey's school bus driver shortage grows 'dire'
Suzanne Tuttle was about to call the police. Her 4-year old son, Max, should have been home from his first day of prekindergarten at J. Harvey Rodgers School in Glassboro four hours earlier, but his bus still had not arrived.
Tuttle had received a robocall from the school earlier in the day telling her to expect delays because of a shortage of bus drivers, but after waiting for two hours at the stop in 90-degree heat, Max was still missing. Tuttle, her husband and mother desperately called and texted the school and even got a passing bus driver to radio other buses. No one knew where Max's bus was.
I want to believe my son is safe, but nobody is at school and nobody is answering calls or the radio and at this point its 5:30 and I put that little boy on a bus at 7:45 in the morning, Tuttle said in an interview. I didn't know what to do."
Finally, at about 6 p.m., a minibus carrying Max and other children arrived and dropped him off. Tuttle said Max was hungry but otherwise calm. Other kids on the bus were crying.
And how many more have long term symptoms.
It is the split shift as much as the pay that discourages many from taking the job.
Snip--A flood of recent retirements is fueling the shortage, which has been building for a while. There's also some competition for drivers from the commercial trucking industry.
The districts that responded said overwhelmingly, they feel pay is the biggest reason they cant find drivers. Sixty-three percent of districts said they thought pay was the reason people weren't taking bus driver jobs."
More at source & audio of the report
After finding they had moved into a very very poor school district in the greater Phoenix, my daughter and her husband drove their daughter 35 minutes each way to go to another district while both were working full time. Besides all the time, they literally burned thru 2 vehicles. Phoenix has open enrollment for grade school so it was an option. They did it for 2 years while working at moving into another district.
Our world is not an easy place, but ya have to step up for your kids, regardless of the sacrifices
A CDL can probably get a driver way better pay than driving a school bus.
many decades ago, our bus drivers were mainly local farmers, because the split shift was easy for them to do, and gave them a guaranteed income while farming.