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FCPS board votes to raise substitute bus driver pay to address shortage

Published: Aug. 30, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - A central Kentucky school district hopes a significant pay increase may be at least a temporary fix to an ongoing bus driver shortage.

Fayette County School Board approved the hourly pay raise for substitute bus drivers, and they didn’t stop there.

With more than a dozen bus routes canceled Monday alone, people in the Fayette County School District have had to get creative when it comes to getting students in the classroom.

“To the parents who are stepping up. Who have organized carpool routes and worked to make sure we’re getting children to school and are educating our students,” FCPS Board member Stephanie Spires said.

And to the principals who are meeting their students along canceled routes, walking them to school, all while carrying their bookbags in wheelbarrows to help during the bus driver shortage.

“A concern of having a revolving door, that there’s not really a commitment that needs to be made. We have folks pursuing their CDL, then finding other pathways,” FCPS Board Chair Tyler Murphy said.

In hopes of attracting more substitute drivers, the district voted Monday to raise their hourly pay from $17.76 to $30. They are also raising daily pay rates for substitute teachers.

“Everyone who works in this district is an educator,” Murphy said. “Be it transportation, custodial, food service. All of these employees are vital to the work we do.”

The board approved pay increases for other areas, including substitute bus monitors and paraeducators.

In addition, the board approved additional incentives, like paying for physicals and certain permits. They also approved a $3 per hour pay increase when a non-driver position serves as a bus driver, plus an incentive for driving the day prior to a holiday or break.

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