School Districts Across Northwest Arkansas Needing Bus Drivers
NORTHWEST ARKANSAS (KFSM) — Kids across the area depend on a school bus to get to and from school each day. However, many school districts in the area are facing a school bus driver shortage.
Districts are now stepping up recruiting efforts with signs and Facebook posts.
Rogers Assistant Superintendent of General Administration, Charles Lee, said Rogers Public Schools is considering incentives in the future like a sign-on bonus and pay increase.
“They’re so valuable in schools and getting kids home safely,” said Lee. “Parents want to know their kids are being transported in a safe manner, and we want to be sure we’re hiring quality drivers.”
School districts in Northwest Arkansas are not alone in this struggle to hire bus drivers. Lee explains this is a problem throughout the state and nationwide.
He adds that some extra curricular activities and field trips have been cancelled or rescheduled because of the scarce numbers. “Some of our route drivers help serve as activity drivers as well during the day,” Lee said. “But you’ll have field trips or athletic events that take place when buses have to leave before school’s out.”
Lee explains they have to have drivers beyond the route drivers to help get kids to the proper locations at the proper times.
To drive a school bus you must have a commercial drivers license. Each school district has different requirements and training methods. Depending on who you apply with, many help with training and even some costs of earning a CDL.
Rogers Public Schools has several positions open, but needs at least two to three bus drivers. If you’re interested in more information contact Rogers Schools Transportation at 479-631-3519.
Bentonville needs about six bus drivers. For more information call the Transportation Department at 479-254-5080.
Fayetteville schools need five to six full time drivers in addition to substitutes. For more information call the Transportation Department at 479-444-3095.
Springdale School District hopes to hire 8 bus drivers by Thanksgiving, but need 10 to 15 drivers total. If you’re interested, call the District Transportation Department at 479-750-8830.