Iowa school districts are in need of bus drivers ahead of school year

Iowa school districts are in need of bus drivers ahead of the school year.
Iowa school districts are in need of bus drivers ahead of the school year.(KCRG)
Published: Aug. 16, 2022 at 4:46 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -Districts across the state are looking for more bus drivers ahead of the school year. Indeed lists more than 200 openings for drivers in Iowa.

We talked with Autumn Pino, the shared superintendent of Springville and Lisbon. She says it’s been difficult to find staff for transportation positions.

On the side of Highway 151 near Springville, a yellow school bus acts as a billboard advertising the need for more drivers.

“We’ve tried to be active in our advertisement,” Pino said.

Just days away from the start of school Springville is in need of nine more bus drivers. They say they’re set as far as regular routes go, but it’s the extra curricular activities that need staffed.

”People are stepping up and calling now to say what need do you have? And at least will come in and explore the opportunity and find out what training is involved,” said Pino.

It does take time to complete the training and licensing process to drive a big yellow bus. That’s why the district is implementing a phase in process, starting new drivers with vans.

“So what we’re trying to do is hire those drivers on and say we can give you some work as far as driving the van and kind of that more smaller shorter training, and then were phasing them into the yellow school bus transportation,” Pino explained.

She says Lisbon is in good shape heading into the school year and similarly, she’s confident Springville will be too.

“As you know in smaller communities the community rallies,” Pino said.

They’re working to let drivers know they’re valued, as often times the first and last person a child sees during the school day.

Large school districts are having trouble finding drivers as well. The Cedar Rapids Community School District just attended a job fair on Monday looking for bus drivers and other essential positions.

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