Dallas, Texas – North Texas schools districts are having hard times with school bus drivers shortages, a growing problem that has been additionally fueled by the pandemic since two years ago.
Lewisville ISD schools are closed due to Covid-19 cases and are set to reopen on Monday. This has been great opportunity for Texas Central School Bus, the North Texas school bus contractor that supplies the Lewisville Independent School District with bus drivers, training, and bus monitors to hold a hiring event on Friday.
Lewisville ISD had to close the schools within the district because of too many Covid-19 cases and more importantly, staffing shortages including bus drivers shortage.
“This is the start of a child getting their education: getting to school,” said Texas Central School Bus Senior Contract Manager Jessica Smith. “If you can’t get them to school, how are they going to get an education?”
The company is having hard times with staffing shortages and they need new bus drivers urgently. In an effort to make the job position more attractive for applicants, the company is offering unseen bonuses and incentives for future bus drivers.
“We’re about 40 drivers short and I’m short 30 monitors that assist with special needs children,” said Smith. “Being short 40 drivers makes your busses run later. It puts more work on other drivers.”
In addition to that, the company also lacks 20 drivers for routes in the Kellar ISD. The base pay for school bus drivers has been raised to $20, but it might vary up to $28 depending on the previous driver’s experience.
In addition to the increased pay, the company offers a $3,000 sign-on bonus for new drivers as well as offering district PTAs a bonus.
“We’re going to pay any PTA that refers us in our district, if they refer me a driver, I’m going to pay that PTA $3,000,” said Smith. “So, we’re giving something back to the schools too to help our kids in the schools.”
Those who are considering the school bus driver job positions are advised to apply for the open positions as the company will also provide CDL training free of charge.
The situation in many other states is similar to the one in North Texas and with the pandemic in place, the situation worsened.