A mostly thankless and very stressfull job few want
There is an AP article about another shortage school districts are encountering now. In addition to teachers, few people want to be school bus drivers.
School Districts Face Bus Driver Shortage
By ZINIE CHEN SAMPSON, AP
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Wanted: Drivers to transport dozens of often-unruly students to school on a 38-foot bus through congested suburban traffic.
Requirements: Extensive training, criminal background checks and physical exams. Sincere affection for young people is strongly preferred, even when they're misbehaving.
Starting salary: $13,920.
Add noisy working conditions to the job description, and it's not surprising that many school districts are having a tough time hiring bus drivers. The effects are seen in drivers burdened with covering extra routes, and parents upset because their children are late getting to and from school.
Yes this job description sounds about right. Though I'm sure Ms. Sampson is being tongue in cheek with her writing. No classified advertisement would actually read like that but I've seen some questionable ones over the years. Like one in the Boca Raton News- Bouncer wanted. The advertisement listed job benifits that included- FREE HOSPITALIZATION!
Schools or school boards having difficulty hiring drivers isn't new either. I remember a 60 minutes or 20/20 piece about 20 years ago about a North or South Carolina school system bemonanin the same fact but they were only paying .25 to .50 cents above the minimum wage too. The Henrico school system in this article is doing better but still has a problem. Little wonder why considering the stress that goes along with this line of work.
Henrico County has 24 full-time bus drivers, plus 20 supervisors and others pulled in to cover routes, transportation supervisor Harold Grimes said. The average driver turnover is between 10 percent and 13 percent a year; there are now 23 driver vacancies.
Grimes said that besides balking at the starting salary of $13,920, or $10.69 an hour ($14,153 annually and $10.87 hourly for the upcoming school year), potential bus drivers also consider the responsibility involved, especially after recent bus accidents and violent incidents on buses.
"They're in charge with those children," Grimes said. "Plus it's hard to watch for the traffic. When it's added together, people say, 'Whoa, why am I trying to do this?"'
Mr. Grimes you hit the nail right on the head.