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Some Central Texas schools report need for licensed bus drivers, others well-staffed

Posted at 8:04 PM, Aug 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-25 13:10:34-04

School districts around the country are seeing a shortage of bus drivers, similar to the trend experienced in Central Texas last year.

This year, area school districts are either short on bus drivers ... or starting the year off with strong numbers like Temple ISD.

”Doing really good this year," said Amy Scopac, director of transportation for Temple ISD. "We’re three drivers short currently, which is wonderful compared to other local districts.”

While Temple ISD might be in good shape, Copperas Cove ISD is dealing with a shortage of bus drivers.

"We are about 15 to 17 bus drivers short," said Chastsie Hooper, assistant director of Human Resources in Copperas Cove ISD. "So, we are wanting to get those people hired as soon as possible.”

Other districts, such as like Belton ISD, have enough drivers hired, but that doesn't mean they are out there on the road.

”Right now we are doing okay on our numbers," said Karen Rudolph, Belton ISD communications specialist. "Our biggest challenge right now is trying to get some of our new drivers certified with our CDL.”

Not having hired drivers ready to take on a route puts them in the same position as Copperas Cove ISD, having to have other staff fill in to cover bus routes.

”The people filling in for the bus drivers are our secretaries, our directors, assistant directors, mechanics, and anyone else that is employed in the department of transportation,” said Hooper.

The beginning of the school year also comes with a few bumps in the road and all the districts agree, the transportation department is no exception.

Between all the students attending in-person classes this year, a growing population, and COVID, they are all working hard to make the start of the school year possible.

”We’re working to make it as seamless and smooth as possible while keeping student safety at the forefront,” said Rudolph.

So, whether your school district is seeing a large shortage or not, they all need people to apply and join their bus driver ranks.