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Bossier schools look to fill over two dozen bus operator openings

(Source: KEYC News Now Photo/Lauren Andrego)
(Source: KEYC News Now Photo/Lauren Andrego)(KEYC News Now)
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 5:54 AM CDT
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BOSSIER PARISH, La. (KSLA) - Summer break for students in Bossier Parish is just weeks away. But, as students leave campuses and enjoy a well-earned respite, district leaders will be working to address an urgent need for bus operators.

“School lets out on May 27, we will have 30 positions open for next year and right now we only have seven substitutes to fill those positions,” said David Hadden, transportation director for Bossier Schools. “We’ll probably even need more by the time school starts.”

Hadden said the district transports around 13,500 students per day, though the number has dipped with COVID. To make ends meet — it’s all hands on deck.

“We have coaches that have been helping us, Bossier Parish coaches are all certified to drive,” he said. “We have some parents, we have some teachers, so the whole Bossier Parish team has jumped in to help make sure we can get children to school.”

The benefits are worthwhile, Hadden believes, requiring operators to drive for a few hours in the morning and in the afternoon. Plus, operators have the opportunity to make a positive impact in the lives of students.

“If you want competitive wages, if you want excellent healthcare benefits, if you want to work a part-time job with full-time benefits...this job is for you,” Hadden said. “For many children in this parish and across America...the first positive thing they hear in the morning comes from their bus drivers.”

Bossier Schools isn’t facing this shortage of bus operators alone — it is a national issue.

Bus operators are required to have a commercial driver’s license, which most districts are willing to train candidates to acquire.

“CDL drivers are just tough to come by, it’s not an easy task to become a school bus driver,” Hadden mentioned. “A lot of things that you need to do, but it is a terrific job, especially if you want to be a great public servant.”

Here is specific training information:

  • When: Monday, June 14-Thursday, June 17
  • Time: 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Where: Resource Center, 3228 Barksdale Blvd, Bossier City

If interested, pre-register for the next training course by calling (318) 549-6770.

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