ANDERSON, SC (WSPA) – It’s a problem across the state. School districts are hurting for bus drivers, so much so, that it can cause your child to be on the bus longer.
From dawn to dusk, school buses are on the road working to get students to and from school, but districts across the state said it’s hard to find and keep the drivers behind the wheel.
In fact, Anderson District Five said it’s a problem almost every year. Right now, they are short about seven drivers which means seven routes are doubled up with others and students are on the bus for roughly 70 minutes.
This isn’t an issue unique to this district. Anderson 3 has about a 17 percent vacancy in drivers and Greenville County reports about 19 percent so they are all looking for drivers to join their team.
“When we are training, it’s training them to be prepared for everything on the road and around them, but the only thing I can’t prepare the driver for is getting 78 children behind them. That’s where the difference comes in where you are either here because you love the children or you are here for the paycheck and if they are just here for the check we won’t have them for long,” said Irene Shetrompf who’s been a driver for 12 years at Anderson 5.
Anderson 5 officials tell 7News they’ve even raised the pay scale for drivers over the years to be more competitive with other districts. The base pay is $13 an hour with the maximum over $18 plus state health and retirement benefits.
The district also has a referral program where you can earn $500 for referring someone else to be driver, if they take the job.