SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The start of school is near and many school districts, including Springdale’s, still need more bus drivers.

The Springdale Public School district is looking to hire 15 more drivers and have them trained up before the start of next school year. Training for bus drivers can take more than 40 hours.

Kevin Conkin, Springdale Public School’s Director of Transportation, said the need for bus drivers is severe. He is in frequent contact with other transportation departments at other districts in Northwest Arkansas and knows Springdale isn’t the only one in this situation.

He said it’s hard to hire drivers because many folks are more cautious being around kids since the start of the pandemic, and it’s hard to compete with other businesses that are hiring in the area.

Although, he said having reliable drivers is so important for students’ education, which Springdale bus driver, Richard Reishus would agree.

“Just knowing that you can have the trust of the little children, and the trust of their parents, and that you will do it safely,” said Reishus.

Conkin said all you need to become a driver yourself is to pass background and drug checks. Then the district will help you with the trainings and certifications to take kids to and from school.

“It’s a need for that child to get to school and have those instructional minutes that the state requires and that we want them to have to access those programs in the school district that we provide,” said Conkin.

There are many districts, along with Springdale, that are in need of bus drivers for this upcoming school year, including Fort Smith and Siloam Springs.