Lack of substitute teachers, school bus drivers cause concern for Northwest Arkansas schools

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – A staffing shortage across several school districts starts to take a toll on kids education.

Director of Transportation for the Fayetteville School District, Mike McClure said the district’s lack of school bus drivers has never been this before.

The current shortage results in kids getting to school an hour or an hour and a half late at times.

“It is always a struggle to find people, generally, but usually that it is one, two or three drivers,” McClure said.

But, these are not usual times. There are currently eight routes with no drivers. McClure says his department is down about 10 drivers total.

“We’re in the middle of a nationwide labor shortage and it’s definitely affecting us, and it’s not just transportation,” he said.

Springdale School District’s Communications Director Trent Jones said there is a list of struggles his district has also faced.

“One of the challenging ones was having substitutes,” he said.

So, the district partnered up with the Springdale Chamber of Commerce to form what they call the ‘Super Sub Campaign.’

“What we’re doing is we’re asking community members business members if they would like to take an opportunity and come in and help the district by subbing one day,” Jones said.

The school then posts about those people subbing to thank them, which in return, promotes their business.
This is just another effort to help fill some of those positions needed most post-pandemic.

“Our teachers need help, and our kids need good people in front of them that care about,” Jones said.

To apply to drive a school bus in the Fayetteville School District, click here.
To apply to substitute in the Springdale School District, click here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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