Missouri school districts forced to charter buses for extracurricular activities


Amid a severe shortage of school bus drivers, school district officials in Washington, Missouri have struggled to find transportation for extracurricular events, reported Missourian.com

John McColloch, deputy superintendent of the Washington School District in Missouri, reported that school vans and other vehicles are being used to get through the season.

Loyd Baile, managing director of Mid-American Coached & Tours, said the report said the company had covered 71 high school activities and five trips since the start of the school year.

In addition, the First Student school bus contractor transports more than 7,000 students to Washington, Union and Autumn Hill school districts. Principal Tim Porter said that despite the understaffing, the company was able to cover the 111 before and after school routes each day.

Porter said an ideal number of drivers at First Student would be around 120. He did not say how many drivers the company is short of, but noted that many drivers are forced to drive more than their normal routes. .

Office workers, mechanics and many other employees who do not normally drive also choose routes. First Student offers hiring bonuses of $ 500 for bus instructors and $ 2,500 for driving candidates with a commercial driver’s license.

First Student is also exploring options for people who might only be working for evening or morning commutes.

Meanwhile, Washington High School activities director Bill Deckelman said in the article that no extracurricular activities have yet been canceled. Nevertheless, they see “the tip of the iceberg”.

It was not revealed how much the district spent on contractors, but Washington School District Superintendent Dr Jennifer Kephart said the rates charged were reasonable.

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