Local school districts facing bus driver shortages

With students heading back to school, teacher shortages are front and center but some schools are also facing bus driver shortages.
Published: Aug. 14, 2023 at 6:03 PM EDT
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WHITEHOUSE, Ohio (WTVG) - Kids across Northwest Ohio are heading back to school but actually getting those students to class is proving difficult for some local districts.

“I don’t think we’ve ever had as much trouble filling positions as we do right now,” Rebecca Schwab, communication specialist at Anthony Wayne Local Schools said.

AWLS is one of the districts facing a bus driver shortage.

“Really it has added to our day, and it has added children to our buses,” Judy Wilkerson, a bus driver for AWLS said. “Our buses are going to be more full than they have been in recent years. We haven’t had this big of a shortage in a while, if ever.”

The district’s transportation director had to completely redraw bus routes just to get by,

“People usually think of schools being off for the summer and not working, but our transportation team has worked hard all summer,” Schwab said.

Anthony Wayne isn’t alone. Toledo Public Schools is looking to hire 15 drivers and Perrysburg Schools is seeking 7 drivers.

All of the local school districts 13 Action News spoke with say they have their routes covered but they’re still accepting applications for more drivers. Wilkerson says it’s an opportunity people should consider.

“It’s one of the most fun things I’ve ever done,” Wilkerson said. “I love the kids. I love driving the bus.”

Wilkerson started driving a bus 11 years ago when she was a stay-at-home om looking to get out of the house and make some extra cash.

“I said, ‘I’m going to try it,’ and the first time I drove I said, ‘Yeah, this is for me. I’m going to be a bus driver,’” Wilkerson said. “Most people think they can’t do it, but they can. It’s really fun.”

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