Bus Driver Shortages an Issue for Many Districts

Finding school bus drivers has been a longstanding problem for districts, but the shortage has escalated to a nationwide problem. In a survey taken in March by HopSkipDrive, nearly four-fifths of school transportation professionals including superintendents, directors of transportation, and school transportation staff said the bus driver shortage was a problem for them. More than half of school districts with 25,000 to 100,000 students said they believed it could take three months or more to resume normal transportation operations.

As Sebastian Martinez Hickey and David Cooper write in the Economic Policy Institute’s Working Economics Blog, “An effective public education system depends on critical support staff to run effectively. The current bus driver shortage is a result of more than a decade of disinvestment in these professionals. The unfair burden of these disruptions is most damaging to the education and well-being of the students who need it the most, particularly students with disabilities. In light of these disruptions, it is imperative that state and local policymakers, school districts, and communities act to fairly compensate and invest in their bus drivers and other school support staff.”