In response to a continuous shortage of bus drivers, some Carmel elementary teachers will take on the role of bus driver this fall.
Associate Superintendent Roger McMichael says one reason behind the driver shortage is that the job does not offer benefits. He says when it came time to recruit new drivers, teachers were a natural fit because of their ability to interact with children.
“Many applicants, their focus is on they can’t drive this big bus,” McMichael says. “The fact is, they can absolutely be trained to drive the vehicle. But if they do not do well interacting with children, you know that’s a lot harder to overcome.”
He says many teachers already take on part time jobs to supplement their income and that the driver position would be a more convenient option teachers will drive routes for their own schools.
Drivers are paid on an hourly basis, with an average salary of $18,000. According to McMichael, the training and certification process to become a bus driver takes six weeks.