ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Public School District 205 is proposing a $2,000 to bus drivers to cover routes for five schools after a deal to provide additional drivers was not met.

The school board authorized a proposal to union drivers to provide pick-up routes to five schools, including Constance Lane Elementary, Ellis Elementary, Lewis Lemon Elementary, McIntosh Elementary, and Whitehead Elementary.

The board says it hopes to ensure that all regularly scheduled bus routes are covered.

The school board said the company it had contracted to provide 50 additional drivers delivered only 15 at the start of the school year.

The school district shifted some school’s attendance schedules in an effort to provide daily transportation to all students.

The district, and schools nationwide, have been struggling since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic to hire and retain bus drivers, holding multiple hiring events and offering pay incentives.

The National Investigative Unit found that benefits, low pay, a surge in retirements, stress, and student behavioral issues contributed to the shortage.