The Baldwin-Whitehall School District is dealing with a bus driver shortage. On Wednesday, 150 students at five of their schools had to find their own way to school, or learn remotely, because a bus route was canceled.
“I had a mom call me yesterday and say, “I can’t get my kid to school.’ But they also get free lunch and free breakfast so they are missing that as well...Your heart breaks for those folks, but I don’t have any other solution” said Dr. Randal Lutz, Baldwin-Whitehall superintendent.
Another parent wrote to Channel 11 saying parents had to either take off work, rely on neighbors to drive their children to school or the children had to stay home and have a remote day.
“Today, we missed a bus. Yesterday, we missed a bus and so those kids are at home, or if parents can get them here to school, and many can but some can’t,” said Lutz.
Channel 11 has been reporting on the school bus driver shortage for years. In one local district, teachers were stepping up and filling in for the lack of drivers.
Lutz says the bus driver shortage is the worst he’s seen in his 33-year career.
“People keep asking me, ‘What are you doing ?’...Well, at the end of the day, I’m doing everything I know how to do, including going and getting my (Commercial Driver’s License) as well,” said Lutz.
The superintendent says recruiting and training new bus drivers takes time. Short-term solutions include early dismal to allow drivers to pick up more routes.
If the staffing situation doesn’t improve, he says some students could have to learn remotely.
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