Virginia School District Bus Driver Shortage

By: Summer Knowles
By: Summer Knowles

Mary Eppard has been working with Greene County's Transportation Department for about 17 years and is finding it increasingly difficult to find good school bus drivers.

"It's been hard to maintain or get good drivers, or any drivers at all for that matter. I've tried advertising for bus drivers, but every time I'd advertise, I'd never get anybody to call back," she says

School Bus Drivers are given a lot of responsibility, and so Eppard realizes the job may not be for everyone.

"It's not something you can just go out and put an application in and expect everybody to be good at it," she explains. "A bus driver is a special person. They meet a special need. They love these kids. They like working with the parents, and they love driving that big yellow bus."

Cindy McGlothin has been driving a school bus for the last five years and truly enjoys her job. "I would have to say it's the children that keep me coming back," she says.

Being able to work with kids during the day and still be home when her own children get home from school is a plus for McGlothin.

"If you're a mother and you want to accommodate your hours for you kids and your family, this is the perfect job to have."

Unfortunately for the school system, not everyone sees it that way. The huge responsibility, part-time status and low pay are some of the things that may keep good candidates from applying, but school officials say they're doing their best to make the job more appealing.

Extensive training, criminal background checks and physical exams are requirements for a school bus driving position. School officials say a sincere affection for young people is strongly preferred.

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