District faces shortage of bus drivers


Faith Exley

USD 394 is facing a shortage on bus drivers, which is forcing other district employees to transport students to events and activities.

Faith Exley, Staff Writer

The bus drivers for USD 394 have sacrificed so much of their time to help the students get where they need to be, whether that is transporting students to school, home or after school activities.

Currently, though, the district has ran into a predicament. They currently do not have enough bus drivers to transport students and athletes.

“If we get more subs and regular drivers everything would work better,” said Randal Chickadonz, the Superintendent of Rose Hill School District. “Right now we just do not have enough of them.”

There are currently 12 bus drivers, with one bus being taken for two individual routes. There are two routes with just subs driving not actual bus drivers.

However four more regular drivers for routes, and two more substitute drivers added would make things for the district more efficient.

Benefits of being a bus driver at Rose Hill Schools include waiving enrollment fees for school age children of anyone planning to work for the district. If you work more than 30 hours than you qualify for KPRS, which is the state’s retirement plan and you become eligible for health insurance.

The bus drivers employed for the Rose Hill District work two to three hours a day, in the morning and in the afternoon transporting students to and from school. This does not include the after school activities they drive for as well. They get paid according to their experience and how long they have been working. Starting wage begins at $11 an hour and they are guaranteed an hour and a quarter a trip.

Since the district does not have enough bus drivers or subs, other district employees have been taking on the jobs. The transportation director, building and grounds secretary, and the payroll clerk have taken on this position. This has made everyone’s job twice as hard, because they are taken away from their job.

“I think that a lot of people find that it’s easier to gain employment elsewhere,” said David Sliger, the Director of Transportation of USD 394. “Because they don’t have to obtain their CDL, DOT, physicals, and no CPR training.”

The district is hopeful it can resolve the shortage of bus drivers by the time the new school year starts in August.