Northwest Arkansas students waiting for buses that never come

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – Grade school students are waiting for buses that may or may not show up, and Springdale Public Schools Tuesday told us it’s gotten to the point where it would consider it to be a crisis. 

The communications director for the Springdale Public Schools says in an average year, they employ 115 full-time bus drivers, and today they only have half of what they need. An issue that is causing problems for every family in the district.  

“I think it’s important to understand that this transportation issue is becoming a crisis,” says Trent Jones with Springdale Public Schools

Jones says in many cases having only half the number of bus drivers they need results in some students not getting picked up at all. 

“We are very thankful to the parents and guardians that are rallying around transportation; it’s our parents and guardians taking the lumps,” says Jones. 

Elms Springs resident, Rita Littrell, says two of her neighbors are students at Springdale Public Schools; if it wasn’t for her stepping up to drive the kids, there’s a lot of days they wouldn’t make it to class. 

“If I didn’t take them to school, they would sit home all day. “There are students whose parents are at work and unable to take them to school when the bus just doesn’t show up,” says Littrell. 

Littrell says she understands this isn’t a problem specific to Springdale Public Schools, but she feels there are certain safety precautions the district could take to make the position a more inviting job.  

“Maybe if the kids had to wear masks it would be safer for the bus driver. Would you want to be on a bus with 50 unmasked kids,” says Littrell. 

Jones says that Springdale Public Schools is doing everything to solve what he calls a crisis. 

Things like aggressively advertising positions on tv, social media, and email campaigns. 

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