FLORENCE COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) – Florence School District One is turning to its employees to help resolve a bus driver shortage.
“We have an amazing team of school bus drivers, but we are short,” said Nathaniel Marshall, Chief Personnel Officer for FSD1.
According to a press release from the district, around 30 district employees have the licensing necessary to drive a school bus but are not currently working in that role.
The school district will offer these employees a $2,000 sign-on bonus, as well as an additional $17,000 to sign a contract agreeing to work as a bus driver for a specific period of time, on top of their current position.
“With the current shortage, student pick-up and drop-off are being affected. It is unacceptable for student instruction to be interrupted because of a bus driver shortage,” said Dr. Richard O’Malley, FSD1 Superintendent.
Officials said during a normal school year, the district operates 178 routes.
But due to COVID-19, routes were adjusted to have roughly half of rider capacity.
The district has already heard back from employees who are interested in the idea.
“Within minutes of sending the email, I received several emails back from interested parties. Several of them already have their CDL and the South Carolina school bus driver endorsement on their license and are ready to start right away, and others say they’d be interested and would like to get their CDL to be a part of this,” said Marshall.