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School Bus Driver Shortage

Do you have a commercial drivers license?

Well Penndot said Today that it’s reaching out to hundreds of thousands of such license holders in the state to combat the statewide shortage of school bus drivers.

Douglas Braff’s has been following this for us and brings us the details.

Penndot will mail all current CDL holders information about how they can apply to be a school bus driver as well as about the job benefits and training opportunities.

Arguably worsened by labor shortages across the whole economy due to the pandemic Pennsylvania has less school bus drivers now than they did a few years ago

“Throughout the commonwealth, we currently have a little over 42,000 school bus drivers which is the lowest number of licensed cdl school bus drivers the commonwealth has had in the past five years.
That is over a four percent decrease since 2017.”

On top of mailing CDL holders myers says Penndot will offer additional sessions for cdl skills testing to expand the field and make it easier for people to apply for bus driver jobs. The testing days
will happen every Monday for four weeks starting October eighteenth.

The severity of the shortages vary by school district and the education secretary emphasizes that ensuring equity in getting districts new bus drivers is critical…

“And we also want to make sure that when we provide a solution to addressing some of the shortages that many of our schools are experiencing, that it is one which has an equity principle in mind,
right? To make sure that we cannot pick and choose as a state who we’re going to support and not.”

Kurt Myers did not say anything about lowering the qualifications for school bus drivers to cast a wider net in the labor pool however he emphasizes that at the end of the day school districts
need qualified and safe bus drivers behind the wheel

“And that is the reason on why the processes we have in place today are so critical to ensuring that we have safe drivers working in the industry getting our children to school, safely. But most
importantly, as well ensuring that they have the opportunity to have education at the schools themselves.”


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