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Can Changing Bell Times Help the School Bus Driver Shortage?

The sad reality is that the bus driver shortage isn't going away - it's only getting worse. The COVID-19 outbreak spurred a lot of people to leave bus driving for other careers or retire if that was an option. One recent study showed that 80% of districts are struggling to fulfill all their bus routes.

So it's no wonder that districts are increasingly looking for creative solutions to the driver shortage. One option that's gaining traction is changing school bell times to allow for fewer buses to run more often. 

Roadblocks to Driver Recruitment and Retention

The school bus driver shortage isn't getting any better. In recent nationwide surveys of school districts, nearly all reported difficulty in maintaining driver staffing levels and roughly 30 percent described their shortage as "severe or desperate." Many schools are beginning to have to take truly drastic action, even cutting services, due to their problems with driver recruitment and driver retention.

Five Trends in School Bus Driver Retention

The current school bus driver shortage means that holding onto your existing drivers is of paramount importance. If you lose a good driver, it could be months - or more - until you find a suitable replacement. Unfortunately, due to the pressures and problems with school bus driving as a career, most districts are seeing higher-than-normal levels of driver turnover.


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