NORTHWEST, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Although there is a nationwide bus driver shortage, many districts in Northwest Arkansas say they won’t have problems getting your kids to school this year.
“When a school district chooses to take on that endeavor of transporting students. It’s a huge service that is provided for our student population and our parents appreciate that,” said Rogers Assistant Superintendent Charles Lee.
A survey by HopSkipDrive shows 88% of districts have been constrained by a driver shortage nationwide.
Richard Carver is the facilities transportation director for Gravette Schools. He feels this is not an issue for them.
“We have five of us here in the office. And my mechanics, my maintenance guys, I have two or three of them. So I have several different avenues to pull from, to have enough people to cover routes,” said Carver.
Currently, Rogers Public Schools has 75 full-time and part-time drivers to operate 70 daily routes. The pay for full-time bus drivers, which is someone who drives three hours in the morning and and three hours after school is about $18,000 to start. There are also bonuses based on attendance.
He says other employees are also stepping up to help.
“The things that’s really helped us out is some of our coaches who are helping us out now. We’re driving some of the of the event routes going to the games that’s really helped us out. So that lifted some of the burden off of transportation,” said Lee.