Perrysburg School District suffers from bus driver shortage, looking to hire

Perrysburg School District suffers from bus driver shortage, looking to hire

PERRYSBURG, OH (WTOL) - Right now, Perrysburg school leaders are asking for help.

The district is in desperate need of bus drivers, and it's impacting parent's schedules and teacher's ability to educate students.

Anyone interested in can apply here.

One mother, Abigail Curtis, said her 15-year-old son didn't get to school until after 10 a.m. on Monday, two hours later than normal.

She said with her and her husband working, it is tough for them to adjust and take him to school. Curtis understands the district is looking for help and hopes they can figure out this shortage soon.

"We've seen it for a couple years, but nothing to the extent we have this year. This year has almost gotten to a crisis," said Aura Norris, the Executive Director of Human Resources and Operations for the district.

Recently, everyone with a commercial driver's license, including, mechanics, dispatch and even the director have been out driving the routes for Perrysburg schools with this shortage.

This doesn't leave anyone to answer the phones when parents call, so they've had to get more secretarial help.

Right now, the district has four routes that aren't filled on a daily basis.

Perrysburg leaders said the number one priority is getting kids to school safely, even if it takes a little longer.

District leaders said they are desperate to get drivers in the door and start training.

"Perrysburg has been spoiled over the years because we're a destination district, people want to come here and work and to be honest with you, we haven't had to work real hard to recruit people in the past, and that has all changed," said Norris.

Superintendent Tom Hosler sent an email to parents outlining the issues they are facing.

Good Afternoon Families,

Perrysburg leaders attribute the shortage to a nationwide shortage in workers with CDL's, and the low unemployment rate.

These bus drivers make 20.56 an hour, working two hours in the morning, and another two in the afternoon.

Just working 4 hours, they aren't eligible for benefits, but if they are a recess monitor or another job in between, they can be.

Applicants must pass a background check and love children.

The district has a notification system they are working with to notify parents about a change in their student's bus schedule, but understand the frustration.

"I'm sure that if you're a parent and you're ready to go to work and you just get a message that your son's bus is going to be 45 minutes late that doesn't make you happy, but at least you know," said Norris.

Norris says no students will be penalized or counted tardy because of this.

She says most parents have been understanding, but if they do have issues she encourages them to call the bus garage.

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