Carmel Clay Schools facing bus driver shortage, assigning task force to combat shortage

Recently, there has been a national bus driver shortage for school districts. Not only is this issue impacting the majority of districts across the U.S., but it is significantly impacting Carmel Clay Schools (CCS) bus routes
 
Superintendent Michael Beresford said that when there is a shortage of bus drivers, many routes are much longer than they should be and that often, double routes must be created in order to accommodate the number of students on the bus at a time. These double routes occur when drivers bring the first group to a school and then drive back for the second route. Beresford said we would be able to combat this double routes issue, as well as keep bus rides shorter, if more people drove for CCS in the morning or afternoon
 
Beresford said, “We’re putting together a task force to look at bus driver recruitment because we’re so short of bus drivers,” Beresford said. “If you can’t get drivers, then we’ll have to make the routes longer and nobody wants to be on a bus for 45 minutes or an hour. We’re getting a group together to look at every nook and cranny and why we’re not getting drivers and making sure we’re competitive with surrounding districts.”
 
This issue truly affects students who rely on the bus for transportation to and from school, especially freshmen and sophomores who may not be able to drive or have a car to use as transportation. According to senior Reagan Smiley, she faced a situation where her bus was late during her sophomore year which impacted her academics
 
Smiley said, “When my bus arrived late to school, it really stressed me out because I was hoping I could study some more for a test before class that morning, but I didn’t have that time anymore. I just had to wing the test because I lost the study time that morning.” 
 
Beresford said that most adults in the Carmel community can easily become qualified to drive for CCS, as the training process takes a little less than a month and would only take a few hours of their time each day.
 
He said, “Our pay is pretty competitive, and for someone who wants to work full-time, they can drive a bus and also be an IA or work food service and then drive a bus in the afternoon, and there are benefits for that, and we’re trying to get the word out.”
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