Anne Arundel County Public Schools turn to plan B in the midst of a school bus driver shortage

Heather Curtis
WMAL.com

WASHINGTON (WMAL) – Anne Arundel County Public Schools is working to get kids to school despite having a bus driver shortage. The school system is short 20 bus drivers according to spokesperson Bob Mosier.

“One of the negatives of a very positive economy is that folks who, you know, would drive busses and do other things like that have other options, so we do have a shortage in our county,” said Mosier.

That is compounded, according to Mosier, by a new Maryland law which which lengthens the hiring process because of people who have unsupervised access to children are required to undergo a more thorough background check. It can take up to twenty days, which has created issues with hiring many new school employees, including teachers.

Mosier said they hope to have twenty new bus drivers – who are contractors – behind the wheel in the near future, but until then the school system is using temporary fixes to get kids to school. One is have drivers finishing one route and starting another, which he said isn’t ideal because it causes delays.

“We try to where possible and where safe to condense bus stops onto…to put more bus stops onto a bus,” Mosier said.

He said parents are concerned that busses are getting overcrowded. The law allows three students per seat and kids standing in the aisle, but he said they don’t put so many kids on busses that some are forced to stand.

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