Why Is There a Shortage of School Bus Drivers?

Driving a school bus is a very rewarding career. It’s an important part of a child’s day. Without someone safely driving the school bus, most children wouldn’t have the transportation needed to get to their school. Unfortunately, there is a current shortage of school bus drivers. If this trend continues, children could end up spending more time on the bus. The safety of the children could also be at risk if bus drivers are being pushed beyond their capacity to work. There are some specific reasons why there is a shortage going on.

Pay Rate

For most districts, school bus drivers are getting paid around the minimum wage mark. This isn’t always enough for people to survive. If a person can get a job for more money that requires the same amount of work, there isn’t a reason to become a bus driver for a lower amount of pay. It’s important that a transportation department realizes the importance of a bus driver’s job. The pay should reflect this essential service.

Job Requirements

There are a number of requirements that a bus driver must meet in order to be eligible to drive a bus. A CDL license is required to begin working. Records such as driver information and license plate records are considered public according to federal law. This is a big deterrent for many people who want to apply for a job as a driver. It makes sense for a driver to be tested for their competency of driving a large vehicle such as a bus. However, driver information might not be something bus drivers want out in the public.

The Economy’s Impact

When the economy is in a good place, there are less people that are willing to take on the job of a bus driver. There are usually plenty of different jobs to choose from. There could be something that is easier to perform each day. Money might be better with a different career choice. Our country’s economy has been in pretty good shape up until this point. This has contributed to the shortage of drivers.

High Expectations

If you think about it, we expect a lot from our bus drivers. The same bus driver is often expected to get up very early for their first route to get high school students to school on time. Once the kids have been dropped off at the high school, the next route is for middle school. After that, elementary students will need to be picked up and taken to their school. This same routine will take place in the afternoon when it is time for kids to go home. Bus drivers don’t get a break during these periods of time each day.

Becoming a bus driver is a great job opportunity. However, there’s a lot to think about when you’re pondering if this is the career for you. This is a job that requires a lot of time and commitment. After all, calling in sick can leave the school system with a shortage of drivers for the day.

If you enjoyed this article, here’s another great one: How Parents Can Prepare Their Kids for Preschool

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