National Guard called to fill school bus driver positions

News

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

(WTVO) — Bus driver shortages has been a major problem for school districts all across the country this year. National Guard members in Massachusetts have been brought in to combat this problem by filling these positions and taking kids to school.

A National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT) report found that half of student-transportation coordinators described their school bus driver shortages as “severe” or “desperate”

Authors of the report say the pandemic is one of the biggest causes for the bus driver shortage.

“COVID continues to have an impact on education in general and school transportation scheduling and logistics in particular, the shortage of school bus drivers has become conspicuous,” Director of NAPRT Executive Mike Martin said, Newsweek reported.

Schools around the country having been desperate to find drivers, making them give up on bus transportation, or offering incentives.

Montana has offered $4,000 in bonuses to get bus drivers, while Delaware schools offered parents $700 to take kids to school.

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, had a different idea. He contacted up to 250 National Guard members to start training and driving kids to Massachusetts schools.

The state says they’re confident this plan won’t interfere with the National Guard’s main job of responding and assisting in emergencies.

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