UNION PARISH, La. (KTVE/KARD) – A school bus driver shortage continues nationwide and now it’s hitting us here at home.
Union Parish School Board superintendent, Kristy Auger Fine, says they’ve been battling with bus driver shortages for two years. But this time due to other challenges.
“School buses are not going to run this Friday, but it’s your responsibility to take your child to school or they’ll be late.” Says a Farmerville parent, Brennen Albritton.
“You know, what if you are not able to do that. you know, it kinda puts you in a position.” Says Albritton.
Superintendent Fine says this year’s challenges are due to illness, retirements, and outages with their driving force. She says drivers are urged to run double routes. This means a driver runs his or her route and then runs an additional route where there is no driver route.
“They are getting home nearly at dark, and it’s concerning because the other day, my son called me and it was around 4:20 in the evening and they were still sitting at school, and we had no idea, you know, what was going on because we are at work and it’s hard to communicate.” Says the parent. .
“They put them around 5:20 in the evening on their way home. Some of them don’t even get outta school at 8 O’clock and that’s after 8 p.m. We definitely have an issue, but I think it will work out if everybody from these schools, and the school board sit down and get together and try to come out with a solution.” Says Albritton.
But superintendent Fine says there will be a light at the end of the tunnel after all. She says they’re doing everything they can to rectify this situation. She says they have new drivers in training, and there will be another driving training on January 11th.
Fine says they are working on another class of drivers already scheduled in the future.