Driver shortage means Paradise Valley district buses may late for the rest of the school year
The pandemic caused major disruptions, including in the workforce, and the problem has reached school districts nationwide. They have been coping with a shortage of school bus drivers for years.
Paradise Valley Unified School District is among those struggling.
The district recently notified parents that buses may be an hour late for the rest of the school year.
“Here at PV specifically, if I'm fully staffed, we would have 110 bus drives,” said Brandon George is the district’s transportation director. “Right now, currently, to date, I am staffed with, I believe, 52 drivers.”
George said they’re able to get buses to all 42 schools. But to do it: “We’re still doubling, tripling routes.”
He said in the morning, drivers start their routes earlier to make sure every student arrives before the bell rings.
"Where we find most of our issue is on the afternoon because the bells are set," George said.
To get drivers back behind the wheel, George said the district is boosting pay from less than $17 to $19.49 an hour.