Indian River School District faces driver shortage

Indian River School District is facing challenges this week following the loss of about a half dozen school bus drivers, but Superintendent Mark Steele says the district is working to reroute schedules to try to make everything work.

A contractor informed Steele Tuesday he had lost six drivers since the start of the school year and was returning four contracts.  Those routes will be vacated next Wednesday.

"That's about 240 kids when we take a look at it on a normal scale of a day getting kids to and from school," said Steele.

The district says it has a plan that won't have a big impact on student pick up and drop times.  Four bus routes will pick up one batch of students and drop them off to be supervised at the school while they make a second run.

Steele believes they can do that with little to no inconvenience to parents, saying it will fit in the window for stop times.

The district has been recruiting new drivers since the spring.

William Clark, a driver with the district for 48 years, says a boost in pay would be a proper way to inject fresh blood into the bus driving workforce.

"I think some changes need to be made… getting some money for these bus contractors. We've been working with the same formula for years."

That formula is the way the state calculates how much to pay contractors to give to their employees. 

Steele says the district has no control over money awarded to contractors, saying if it were up to him, he would," gladly say let's do what we need to do to make this a more appealing job."

Steele says that there is a specific group of people who have the type of schedule needed for driving hours, but believes they can get the voids filled within the coming months.

Categories: Delaware, Local News