Bus driver numbers are down by nearly a fourth for Sumner County Schools.
The county is currently down 42 drivers, and the need has led to a longer ride for students at times.
“Because the economy is so strong, we are seeing people that are leaving bus driving and taking jobs elsewhere,” explained Jeremy Johnson, spokesman for the school system. “We have to do things like combine bus routes, or split a bus route up, or have a bus run two routes that they normally would not run.”
Bus driver shortages though persist across Middle Tennessee.
Most every school system News 2 spoke with Thursday is in the market for bus drivers.
Williamson County, for example, is seeking 15 more drivers to help cover sick days.
Metro Nashville Public Schools is in need of 30-50 additional drivers at most times.
Metro is now considering a $1 raise for drivers in the coming year.
Similar considerations are taken yearly in Sumner County, as school officials try to sway drivers to work for the district.
“It’s something we look at every single year in the budget, are we being competitive, and that’s something will look at again when we go to the budgeting time,” Johnson explained.
But recruiting will continue into the Summer, as school officials seek a way to drive the shortage down.
Drivers are paid $12 an hour and receive medical benefits. For more details click here.