LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Throughout the state and the nation, school districts all over are experiencing shortages of bus drivers.
This leaves the drivers they do have running double routes and kids having to get to school early and get home really late.
As the doors of the school bus open, the sound of footsteps fills the steps of the entrance.
The Cutter Morning Star School District said they don’t have enough people to run all of their routes.
“As of right now, I am doing two routes in the morning, and two routes in the afternoon,” Transportation Director and Bus Driver, Allen Black said.
Allen Black has been driving buses for the district for the last 4 years. He said with the shortage, it is difficult to fill the driver’s seat.
The buses do their initial load up, meaning Allen gets on his bus to start picking up kids at 5:55 a.m. Then he must circle back around to do another route.
In the evenings, this doesn’t allow him to leave until close to 6 p.m.
“Our first route they are 30 minutes early in the morning and you know it’s kind of tough and in the afternoons, one group has to sit here for 30 minutes,” Black said.
Nancy Anderson, the Superintendent for the district, said this isn’t just an issue for their district.
“It’s very unfortunate that we cannot find drivers and I understand it’s a shortage across the nation,” Anderson said. “They just play such a vital role in the success of our students and the climate and culture.”
So, to get the word out they put a bus along the interstate, to try and get some people to come help out.
“To be a part of getting them home safe, it’s rewarding. It truly is rewarding,” Black said.