To start the new year, SCPS saw severe bus shortages during the first week when no buses were at the schools when the final dismissal bell rang. Later that day, it was found that SCPS was short 42 bus drivers, 6 of which quit the week that school was starting.
The new school year schedule is already off to a rough start with overlapping bus routes, buses not showing up to stops, and students getting home at six to six-thirty instead of being home at four to five, almost two hours later than when students were expected home.
There have been many problems that have contributed to the buses being late. Traffic has been worse this year than years past in the parking lots being busier and more parents are opting to take their kids to school since we are still in a pandemic, explained Chris Fulmer. “You know we’re, I say coming off of this, we are still kind of in the midst of COVID pandemic, but it definitely had an impact on attracting and retaining drivers over the last year and a half,” said Chris Fulmer.
But some solutions are being put in place to solve these problems, “that they’re going to vary by the driver but they’ll be trickling in over the next couple of weeks. And that had as many as approximately 15 in training.” said Chris Fulmer.
In an email home to parents and guardians, schools Superintendent Scott Kizner said he understands “the fear that comes with not knowing where your child is located and an uncommunicated delay in their safe arrival.”
There is still no specific time frame for when we can expect the busses back but, we can expect to see incremental improvement over the next several weeks as they have received 117 applications to be bus drivers in the last week according to Chris Fulmer.