School bus driver shortage creating issues

FLINT TWP. — A bus driver shortage is causing some scheduling and transportation issues for Carman-Ainsworth Schools.

In an April 27 letter to parents, Superintendent Eddie L. Kindle said the transportation department is experiencing late arrivals and departures for school buses.

“This letter is to make you aware that we are experiencing some challenges in our transportation department with respect to timeliness in transporting students to and from school,” he said. “As we continue to work through these issues, I would like to acknowledge and thank you for your patience and understanding.”

He offered assurance that students are safely supervised by teachers, support staff and administrators when they experience late bus notifications and arrivals.

He apologized for any families being inconvenienced and said an “acceptable resolution” to the problem is being sought. Acknowledging that scheduling problems is due to not having enough drivers, Kindle said the district has 17 full-time drivers but needs 24. Retirements and resignations caused the shortage, he said. Requirements for anyone interested in becoming a bus driver is provided in flyer posted on the district’s web site at lib3/MI01000184/Centricity/Domain/1/Bus%20 Driver%20flyer.pdf

That includes having a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) with air brake and school bus and passenger (P & S) endorsements.

Applicants must also pass a drug screen test, Department of Transportation physical and a criminal history check. Training will be provided. For more information or to apply call 810-591- 3470.

The driver shortage is an ongoing problem and not just for Carman-Ainsworth. There are 17 bus driver openings posted on the Genesee Intermediate School District’s public schools consortium employment site which includes Genesee, Lapeer and Saginaw counties.

Carman-Ainsworth’s posting for bus drivers dates back to September 23 2015. In December 2015, the C-A board of education approved a limited contract with First Student bus services for six drivers and six buses. That contract was for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year only.

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