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Mayflower Public Schools continues battling bus driver shortage, relying on staff to take up the gap



Mayflower, Aransas – Some Arkansas school districts are still lacking bus drivers as the school year progresses.

According to Mayflower Public Schools, the scarcity of bus drivers has persisted for years and doesn’t appear to be getting any better.

“Here we all have to pitch in and help out where it’s needed,” Mayflower High School principal T.J. Slough said.

The district claims to have two open bus driver positions as of right now; these positions have been vacant since August.

“We only have 12 routes and so when you lose two bus drivers and you don’t have a lot of staff with CDL’s, it creates a big hardship,” Slough said.

The district is looking for anyone on staff with a CDL to help cover the gap.

“Our superintendent has driven, we have probably 3-4 coaches that have also driven,” Slough said.

Slough claimed that 75% of the time, a new driver is in charge of the bus.

“I don’t know what the reason is, why people are not wanting to drive,” Mayflower Superintendent Andy Chisum said.

According to Chisum, those kinds of inquiries are asked in practically every position in the field of education.

“From teachers to bus drivers, to food service staff, to substitutes, custodial staff, it’s been a challenge the last couple of years,” Chisum said.

According to Chisum, the district is currently navigating the abrupt pauses and twists.

“We took three routes down into two but they were busses that weren’t full, so we had space on there,” Chisum said.

He expressed his hope that soon, the unexpected call-ins would be few and far between.

Chisum said the district might take into account an incentive program to encourage more individuals to get behind the wheel if the scarcity lasts into the upcoming academic year.