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Parents are upset about the lack of school bus drivers



Indiana – Parents are becoming increasingly frustrated as the schedules of their children are being disrupted at multiple schools throughout central Indiana due to a lack of available bus drivers.

“It’s crazy,” said Chad Bussell, the parent of a Perry Township fourth-grader. “She normally gets home about 3:30 p.m. and got home at 5:40 p.m.”

“The anger we feel is not directed to the people trying to get our kids around, they’re doing a fantastic job and we appreciate them,” Bussell said.

According to Bussell, his main source of annoyance is the school board’s proposed solution of redistricting, which might require students to switch schools beginning in August of next year.

“It doesn’t actually solve the problem of getting more bus drivers,” Bussell said. “If anything, it will just exacerbate the problems.”

Other school districts, including the one in Noblesville, are also dealing with the same issue.

“We’re doubling 8-10 routes a day,” said Brian Zachery, director of transportation for Noblesville Schools. “It’s not a great number, but it’s a hardship to people when kids aren’t running on their regular schedules.”

In an effort to maintain its position as a competitive employer, the district will begin paying its drivers the highest wage in Hamilton County on January 1.

“We’re doing things to try to attract new drivers and we want to make sure we’re not canceling routes and parking buses,” Zachery said.

District officials in Pike Township have reported that they are almost completely staffed, with only one opening remaining at this time. Officials at the school have stated that over the course of the past year, they have made significant efforts to acquire and maintain new drivers.

In the meantime, school districts like Noblesville are concentrating their efforts on finding solutions as quickly as possible.

“With the challenges we have getting kids back and forth from school, there’s no drop-off in safety or in what we’re doing to make sure it’s the safest way to get kids to school,” Zachery said.