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Signs advertising for bus drivers. Photo: Rick Bowmer/AP

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.

Go deeper

John Frank, author of Denver
Oct 22, 2021 - Axios Denver

Meet the candidates: Denver school board

Top row, left to right: Karolina Villagrana, Gene Fashaw, Mike DeGuire. Bottom row, left to right: Michelle Quattlebaum, Jose Silva, Carrie Olson, Xóchitl “Sochi” Gaytán.

A majority of the Denver school board seats are at stake in the 2021 election — including three that represent neighborhood districts, Chalkbeat reports.

What's happening: The races cover a vast swath of the city — southwest's District 2, the southeast's District 3 and northeast's District 4.

Oct 22, 2021 - Axios Des Moines

Axios Des Moines drives a DART bus at the Iowa State Fairgrounds

Linh and Jason drive a DART bus at the fairgrounds! Photo courtsey of DART

DART challenged us to test our abilities and navigate a 40-foot bus through an obstacle course at the Iowa State Fairgrounds Thursday.

Why it matters: You could give the bus a spin yourself.

  • DART is trying to hire about 35 more drivers and is offering up to $3,000 sign-on incentives. Starting wages range between $17-25/hour.

Details: Try it out Friday 1-5pm and Saturday 8-10:30am at the fairgrounds. (Enter through the gates off University Ave.)

  • Bring your license. Drivers must be at least 21.

💬 Our thought bubble: We had so much fun, but may need a little more training...

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.