KISSIMMEE, Fla. – There are only seven school days left for Osceola County students, though transportation services said it still needs nearly 40 more bus drivers to cover summer school and the new school year which starts in August.
This comes after months of dealing with a bus-driver shortage across the district, resulting in issues with covering certain bus routes.
On Tuesday, the department hosted another job fair to attract applicants.
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“Right now, we’d like 38 but that’s 38 drivers to put a driver in every seat for every route that we have built,” said Arby Creach, Osceola County Schools transportation services director.
Creach explained the department has 212 bus drivers, with some having to double up with routes due to the shortage of drivers.
They are also seeking to hire 140 additional bus monitors.
In April, several drivers called out ahead of the Easter holiday weekend, which put a couple of school bus routes in jeopardy. The department contacted parents about the delays.
“We had a very high call out during Easter weekend and unfortunately anytime there’s a holiday, a Friday or a Monday, unfortunately absenteeism goes up,” he said.
News 6 was there to see transportation workers planning school bus routes for summer school and the new school year.
According to transportation services, those applying for a position do not need to hold a CDL (the driver’s license needed to drive a non-commercial vehicle), high school diploma or GED.
Instead, the department will be able to provide drivers with training to get their CDL.
“What we are going to do double is what we’ve done basically all year. We double up our routes, we split our routes out, and sometimes we have to triple back, and our drivers are working very, very hard and we are really proud of the drivers,” he said.
The district said school bus drivers will make a minimum wage of $15 starting July 1, though that wage is still subject to union negotiations. The district is also in need of school bus monitors.
Interested applicants can find more information and apply on the school district’s website.