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Palm Beach County School District: “We have a school bus driver shortage, again”

Virus Outbreak-Florida school bus
(AP Photo/John Raoux)

(PALM BEACH COUNTY) — Heads up parents, the Palm Beach County school district says it again has a school bus driver shortage of 57 drivers.

The district budgeted for 614 drivers but has only filled 440 positions to cover 497 routes.

The district says it will scramble and use outside vendors to cover the routes, and promises that all routes will be covered.

Chief operating officer for the district, Joseph Sanches, told WPTV that some of the interim replacement drivers will cover multiple routes. Plus, they’ll ask office staff and mechanics to also cover routes.

So why is there a bus driver shortage, again?

Sanches blames COVID, retirement and the fact that workers don’t want to drive for low pay.

“We’re very fortunate that our board recently passed an increase in salaries and a new contract which increased our starting pay to $17.33 an hour,” he told WPTV.

The Palm Beach County school year starts August 10th.