ST. LOUIS – Many school districts in the St. Louis area are facing major bus driver shortages ahead of the new school year and that’s leading to some changes for parents and students to adjust to.
For instance, the Fox C-6 schools sent out new start and end times to parents.
This varies from school to school but for students, the first bell will start anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour earlier.
They’ll also be combining some routes.
Another thing parents will have to adjust after a difficult year.
“I know that they’re stopping a lot of routes so that’s going to be difficult for some parents because out at fox you got some streets that are hard to get on,” Fox C-6 School District parent Jatanya Thompson said.
Fox C-6 Superintendent Paul Fregeau, said in a statement, “Adjusting school start times is the best way to ensure that the district can continue to provide daily transportation service to all Fox C-6 students.”
The shortage also persists at Parkway School District.
They’re not only low on bus drivers but also custodians, teacher assistants, and maintenance workers.
“There’s some reason that we’re all struggling to get employees, there’s some incentive for people no longer to work but not knowing what that is,” Parkway School District CFO Patty Bedborough said.
Parkway School District is down 14 bus drivers.
This doesn’t hurt them as much as Fox schools because many of the drivers were a surplus but the issue still remains.
“If we continue to have long-term shortages we may be looking, in the long run, to do things in order to adjust start times, perhaps some of our elementary schools that are on our middle tier, perhaps we have to move them.”
Most schools in the region are desperately looking to fill positions and are offering health benefits and training.