PLANO, Texas — Kids across North Texas are well into their school routines, but some Plano ISD students were late to class Monday morning as the district is one of many across the country facing a shortage of bus drivers.
At Plano ISD, the heavy delays were due to staffing, a district spokesperson said. The district is working to hire and train more bus drivers and bus assistants.
In the last few days, bus driver shortages were reported in Minnesota, Ohio, Florida and in Houston, to name a few. The National Education Association says bus drivers often face low pay and inadequate benefits due to low hours.
Plano ISD increased the starting pay rate this year to $21 for bus drivers. The transportation department has held several job fairs, the spokesperson said.
"In the meantime, to mitigate the shortage, the transportation department is combining routes where possible, posting delayed bus information on the website and utilizing transportation department staff who have trained to drive buses and have necessary licenses," said spokesperson Lesley Range-Stanton in a statement.
On Monday, Plano ISD tweeted that several bus routes were delayed. The district updates a website to alert families and students about any delayed bus routes.
"If your child's bus is late, please know that it is on the way, or you may want to consider driving your student to school this morning," the district tweeted.