Upstate school district closing bus driver shortage gap with pay increase

Local News

ANDERSON, S.C. (WSPA) – Anderson District 5 is now offering to start bus drivers at $16.75 an hour, $3 more than their normal pay wage.

Schools across the Upstate are still struggling with a shortage of bus drivers.

It’s a problem that schools have had to deal with for a while.

Anderson District 5 spokesperson Kyle Newton said, “Every year we’ve started a few drivers short, typically we start the year about 10-15 short.”

However, this year for District 5, the shortage is even greater.

“At one point we were 28 drivers short,” Newton said.

One District 5 driver, Stacey Scott, says having to add stops with more kids to pick up is trickle-down effect on the students.

“Having to get the kids late to school they miss out on instruction. Some of the kids get breakfast in the morning, so they’re missing out on breakfast,” Scott said.

They’re late to school and late getting home.

The only solution is more drivers and more money.

“We actually are bumping up the salaries for all of our starting drivers to $16.75 an hour which is about a three-dollar increase,” Newton said.

They’re hoping this makes them more competitive with neighboring districts.

“People will drive for a couple more dollars and we know that. We’ve had drivers who have left us to go to other districts who pay more now hopefully they may leave those districts and come to us,” Newton said.

They also hope it takes some stress off the drivers they have right now.

“Kids that you have it’s like a family, so you’re already used to your own kids so if every driver could just get one route that would be terrific, that would be great,” Scott said.

If you’re a driver in Anderson District 5 and you refer a bus driver who stays for at least 6 months, the district says they’ll give you a check for $500.

The job comes with benefits like state insurance and state retirement. Drivers also have the summers off.

You can apply here.

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