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Jessamine Co. Schools dealing with ‘critical shortage’ of bus drivers

Bus drivers are in high demand and short supply. Currently, the district has 18 openings they’re looking to fill.
Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 11:40 AM EST
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JESSAMINE COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - School leaders in Jessamine County have acknowledged that it has been tough to try to bring in new bus drivers.

Bus drivers are in high demand and short supply. Currently, the district has 18 openings they’re looking to fill.

“We’re down 12 drivers and we’re in a position where we’re having to double routes, we’re having folks who are sick and so it definitely presents a challenge each and every day,” said Matthew Simpson, Jessamine County Schools Transportation Director.

“This year in particular we’ve seen a more critical shortage than those in the past. For instance, today we were short 27 drivers for our routes,” said Matt Moore, Jessamine County Schools Superintendent. “Typically, that’s only been one or two bus drivers short, but this year we are short right now 12 routes.”

Those twelve routes that don’t have a specific driver assigned to them are having to be covered by other drivers, which can cause some headaches for drivers, students, and parents alike.

“Often having to combine routes, which several times when we’re doing something like that it will inevitably cause us to get students late to school or home later than you would anticipate,” said Moore.

Moore says that the district is offering a commercial driver’s license course for anyone interested in becoming a driver.

Officials say once you finish that course and if you become a driver for the school district, then the district will pay you back for the course, as well as pay you while you go through the training to become a driver.

“If you follow through, get hired as a bus driver and get on that first route, our school district is committed to back paying you for those 20 hours that you spent in that classroom,” said Simpson.

Officials say they’re looking for dedicated drivers who want to build relationships with these students.

Jessamine County officials say they are also offering a free CDL prep course for anyone who’s interested in applying for one of these positions.

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