Schools across Maine have reopened for in-person learning, but many school districts are having trouble finding enough bus drivers to get kids to class.
Gabe Dostie, director of transportation for the Gardiner-based Maine School Administrative District 11, told the Kennebec Journal that attracting bus drivers has been an issue for some time, but the problem has been made worse by the coronavirus pandemic.
The bus driver shortage is "100% a statewide issue," Maine Department of Education spokesperson Kelli Deveaux said.
"School districts across Maine have been using bonuses, offered paid training programs and even worked with other employment and training organizations to try and entice people to join our bus driver workforce," Deveaux said.
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The issue dates back before the pandemic and is not unique to Maine, she told NECN.
Readfield-based Regional School Unit 38 Superintendent Jay Charette had to cancel school a couple of times recently because there was no driver available to transport students to school.
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MSAD 11 Superintendent Pat Hopkins at a recent school board meeting said she was "practically begging" for parents to drive their kids to school.