Pulaski County Public Schools faces school bus driver shortage

New River Valley News

PULASKI, Va. (WFXR) — Classes for Pulaski County Public Schools started on Wednesday, but county school officials say that a lack of bus drivers is causing transportation issues at a number of local schools.

During dismissal at Pulaski County Middle School, students who ride the bus did not get dropped off until 6:30 p.m.

Superintendent of Pulaski County Public Schools, Dr. Kevin Siers, says the first week of school is always rough. This year, however, there is an increase in students and a decrease in drivers.

“At one point we had over 60 buses running, and we are now 13 buses down from where we were a couple of years ago,” said Siers.

According to Siers, just before school started, the county had four bus drivers quit. It’s been hard to find replacements.

“It’s really just not a job that people go into anymore, not like they used to. I understand it is an extremely tough job, the pay is not all that great, especially if you look at what neighboring states pay their bus drivers,” explained Siers.

Parents shared their disappointment on the school district’s Facebook page.

“How are high school students suppose to get to school if they have no other ride but the bus? There is still no bus route out for them,” posted one user.

Siers advises parents to either find a way to pick their children up in the afternoon, or have their children practice their home addresses. He says some of the older children did not know where to be dropped off.

In the county’s latest update, Siers said they are working to fix the issue, but drop-off times will probably not go back to normal anytime soon.

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