Demand for bus drivers remains high for the USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden Transportation Department.
Close to a dozen maintenance employees and district mechanics are filling in on those routes in the interim. Assistant Superintendent Eric Reid says with activities well underway, it’s putting a strain on an already thin pool of available drivers.
Reid says the district already double routes secondary schools but says they may have to go to a double route and then add a third route for elementary students if the shortage persists.
Reid says having maintenance staff covering bus routes is fine in the interim, but not sustainable long-term.
The bus driver shortage is not unique to Manhattan. In Massachusetts, some 250 National Guard members have been called in to address staffing in some districts. Reid told school board members Wednesday that USD 383 is not far off from having to take a similar approach to keep bus routes open.
The shortages extend beyond the bus barn to schools across the district. Reid says even though their data dashboard suggests attendance of staff is hovering around 95 percent, it doesn’t account for the fact that many positions in the district remain unfilled.
The district is legally obligated to provide transportation, special education, as well as the federal lunch and breakfast programs.
The district has multiple openings for not only bus drivers but also several paraprofessional, custodial and other classified staff. To apply visit usd383.org/employment.