Capital Region schools deal with nationwide bus driver shortage
There is a national shortage of qualified bus drivers.
Local school districts are concerned as they prepare to welcome back students next month.
The Bethlehem Central School District is short 20 bus drivers, while Brunswick Central School District is short about five drivers.
Dr. Angelina Maloney, the superintendent for the Brunswick Central School District, believes the shortage is due to COVID and the fact that many bus drivers are aging out.
She says due to the shortage, many people who normally don’t drive buses, will likely have to drive. This includes mechanics, school bus trainers and even possibly the director of transportation. These are all people who are trained bus drivers. However, they won’t be back at the office to answer the phones. Dr. Maloney says they are actively recruiting drivers.
"Transportation is compulsory. We are currently actively recruiting. We’re having bus rodeos, come ride a bus," said Maloney. "On Facebook Live on our district page, I actually drove a bus to show our community what it was like to drive a bus, to show them that it can be done."
Dr. Maloney says in her district, they are considering contracting with private agencies and even collaborating with nearby school districts.
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Hear how Bethlehem is working to deal with the shortage by watching the video of Jonathan Hunter’s story.
If you’re interested in becoming a bus driver for the Brunswick Central School District, you can call them at 518-279- 4600. If you’re interested in becoming a bus driver for the Bethlehem CSD, you can contact them at 518-439-7098.