Sep 3, 2021 - Economy

The new school crisis

A fence filled with signs stating that bus drivers are hiring.

Signs advertising for bus drivers. Photo: Rick Bowmer/Associated Press

Schools are getting desperate — and creative — in tackling a nationwide bus driver shortage.

  • A charter school in Wilmington, Delaware, is offering parents $700 to get their kids to and from school for the year.
  • A poll released by several school trade associations this week shows the shortage is the No. 1 problem for 65% of school transportation administrators.

51% call the situation "severe" or "desperate." The school district in Rochester, New York, says "all options are being considered."

What's going on: The Great Resignation sweeping the country is compounded by an aged busing workforce.

  • Half of bus drivers are 65+ and so are more vulnerable to COVID-19, Joanna McFarland, CEO of school ride-service company HopSkipDrive, told AP.
  • A Montana school district offered $4,000 bonuses and invited residents to test-drive buses.
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools' driver shortage delayed the return to classrooms by two weeks, The Washington Post reports.
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