Suburban school districts in Huntley, Barrington, Palatine scramble to hire bus drivers before students return to classrooms

Suburban school districts in Huntley, Barrington, Palatine scramble to hire bus drivers before students return to classrooms

PALATINE, Ailing. (TOC) — The Barrington Faculty District is one in every of many districts scrambling to fill bus driver jobs earlier than it is time for college kids to return to the classroom.

“We’re providing a hiring bonus, the drivers get a hiring bonus if they create somebody in, having particular occasions,” mentioned JD Lasalla with Barrington Transportation Firm.

The Barrington district covers an enormous geographic space greater than 70 sq. miles, with some college students touring greater than 15 miles to get to high school. So the less drivers they’ve, the longer the experience for a lot of college students.

In Huntley, they’re dedicated to providing very scholar within the district bus transportation regardless of the place they dwell.

“We will use 12 to 17 further drivers to think about ourselves absolutely staffed,” mentioned Dr. Scott Rowe of Huntley District 158.

The pandemic brought on most faculty districts to go to distant studying, which eradicated the necessity for college bus drivers. As soon as faculty returned to in-person studying many drivers by no means got here again, leaving districts scrambling.

The Huntley faculty district is amongst many providing particular incentives to attempt to entice extra drivers. They’re down about 10% of the variety of drivers they’d like.

“We have elevated our charges for drivers. We’ve a aggressive and good advantages bundle, versatile hours and so they’re a part of our Huntley 158 household. We care deeply about them,” Rowe mentioned.

District 211 within the northwest suburbs owns its personal bus fleet and which means part-time drivers nonetheless get the identical insurance coverage and different advantages as lecturers and different district staff. However they’re nonetheless struggling to draw drivers. They’ve even skilled different staff that may pitch in and drive.

“There have been individuals stepping as much as make our routes occur once they needed to occur to get college students to high school.” Mentioned Erin Holmes, District 211 spokesperson.

District 211 is taking a look at internet hosting a Drive a Bus Day, hoping to get individuals behind the wheel of one in every of these buses, discover out they prefer it and apply for a job.

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