Mercer County bus driver shortage making some kids late

HARRODSBURG, Ky. (WTVQ)- Some kids in Mercer County are missing some class time this year, all due to a bus driver shortage.

Almost every day this school year, the district has posted on Facebook, notifying parents some students will be picked up and dropped off late.

Superintendent Dennis Davis says students are usually just ten minutes late, but once or twice they’ve been 20 to 25 minutes late.

“They still get their breakfast, but by the time the kid gets there ten minutes late, sits down, they’ve already missed 15, 20 minutes of instruction,” Davis said.

Superintendent Dennis Davis says districts across the country are finding it hard to recruit bus drivers.

It’s been a problem for Mercer County the last few years, but never like this.

“By far. This is the worst year that we’ve had,” Davis said.

The superintendent says it’s not for lack of trying. He’s visited career fairs and asked custodians to try it out.

“I’ve told people give me a name of somebody and I’ll go visit them at home,” Davis said.

A sign outside the Walmart in Harrodsburg advertises what the district is offering plus the superintendent tells ABC 36 they’ve added a $500 bonus for drivers who drive 60 days for the district and the potential for another district job that would make for a full work day.

“When the economy is better, schools struggle getting people,” Davis said.

Superintendent Davis says the job might seem intimidating, but it makes a difference.

He still remembers the name of his Mercer County bus driver.

Crystal Bugg hopes Davis finds more drivers and quickly.

“Education is everything. If you’re not educated you’re not going to get a job. You’re not going to have a life…I want more for my son,” Bugg said.

The starting salary for a bus driver in the county is $14.09. You need a CDL license, but the district will help you get it and pay you during training. If the four hour shift isn’t enough, the district might be able to help you find another four hour job at a school.

The job comes with full benefits.

If you’re interested in applying, contact Mike Preston, Transportation Director, (859) 733-7240, ext. 1601.

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