School bus driver shortage could cause delays for many DC-area families

Many kids in the D.C region who take the school bus may not get to school or back to their homes on time, all thanks to bus driver shortages impacting many school systems across the country. 

Last week, Fairfax County Public Schools sent a notice to families who rely on their bus system telling them, it is very likely that changes to their child’s bus-stop time "will occur, due to the national and regional bus driver shortage."

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Many parents took their frustrations to social media.

 One mother who asked not to be identified told FOX 5’s Ayesha Khan that, she has one child who has to ride the special education bus while another child can’t. She said, they both have different bus stops but need to be at each one, at the same time and she is the only one who has to drive them, so she won’t be able to work. 

The mother went on to explain that for the entire first month of school, she has to drive her kids to school then pick them up, even though there is a bus availability.

Another parent wrote that when the notice came in last week, it was missing information such as what time their child would be picked up and then dropped off. 

FCPS spokesperson, Jennifer Sellers told Khan, the school system sent a corrected version with the times, shortly after. 

Seller said FCPS’s staffing numbers are changing by the hour so right now they cannot provide a number on how much of a bus driver shortage they are currently experiencing.

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Sellers also said that FCPS is providing a signing bonus of $2,000 for new bus drivers who meet eligibility requirements and complete the new driver employment criteria.

FCPS is one of many school districts that is taking this step towards offering attractive incentives. 

Tuesday night, Stafford County Public Schools approved a proposal that would raise the starting pay for bus drivers and give a $3,000 signing bonus to any new hire who already has their CDL.

Sellers did not confirm how much of a delay if any, FCPS families who rely on school busses, could expect while waiting on their child’s school bus.