School Districts Struggle to Find Bus Drivers

School Districts Struggle to Find Bus Drivers

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Sarah Dallof ReportingWho drove your child to school today? The answer may not be what you think. Jordan School District is turning to mechanics and secretaries to help fill a bus driver shortage.

The district is short about 20 drivers. So far, other employees with commercial drivers licenses have picked up the slack, working overtime. Students have made it to class, but the district admits they've just been very lucky.

Before he hits the road, driver Richard Keddington inspects his bus. "I like driving, of course, or I wouldn't be doing this., but I also love being with the kids."

He's on the road about 35 hours a week, but this year he has the option to pick up extra shifts. Jordan School District is so short on drivers, if regulars can't fill in they go to plan C.

Human resources manager Moya Kessig says, "Our mechanics and secretaries have driven for us."

Bonnie Powell is one of those in-a-pinch drivers. She simply says, "We're professionals; we'll do what we have to do."

She now spends part of the day assisting the dispatcher --her normal job, but starts out the day with a morning bus run.

To get more drivers in the seats the school district is now offering an incentive program.

Kessig says, "Anyone hired before November 1st and works 30-40 hours, we're offering $1,000."

Part-time drivers will get $500. In both cases the driver must stay until June. According to veteran driver Richard Keddington, too often drivers are trained by the district only to leave for higher pay offered by other companies. "I just wish we could hang onto people. We have a lot of good people who come and go."

Jordan School District isn't the only one facing this problem. Granite and Davis Districts are also reporting shortages.

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