Massachusetts activates National Guard to help with school transportation
Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) on Monday activated the state's National Guard to assist with school transportation.
Driving the news: Schools across the country are experiencing a shortage of bus drivers, which has worsened during the coronavirus pandemic. More than 80% of school districts reported having issued finding an adequate number of drivers.
State of play: Baker said in a press release that 250 guard personnel will become available for the task.
- They will need to complete vehicle training "to ensure the safety of children and families."
- Training is scheduled to start Tuesday, with 90 guard members being sent to help in the cities of Chelsea, Lawrence, Lowell and Lynn.
- The guard members will operate vans known as "7D vehicles," which are smaller than regular school buses.
What they're saying: "The Guard has a proven track record of success supporting civilian authorities. Their frequent side-by-side training with state and local first responders makes them well-suited for a variety of missions," Baker said.
Of note: The governor said that the mission will not interfere with the National Guard's ability to respond to emergencies within the state.