Texarkana Arkansas School District launches incentive program to help with bus driver shortage

*NOTE: This is a stock photo.
*NOTE: This is a stock photo.(PxHere)
Published: Feb. 16, 2022 at 2:08 PM CST
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TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) - For most schools, the wheels on the bus are having a difficult time turning, but one Arkansas school district hopes they’ve solved this problem with a financial incentive.

Like other school districts, the Texarkana Arkansas School District (TASD) is experiencing a dire need for bus drivers. School leaders say around 50% of its 3,800 students use the busing system for transportation to and from school. Officials say due to COVID-19, it has become challenging to secure bus drivers; the district is now at the point of eliminating some routes to help alleviate the situation. Officials say work by present drivers is not going unnoticed.

“We know the drivers that are with us are working extremely hard, and we want to provide an incentive to say, ‘We see you are working very hard,’” said Genia Bulluck with TASD.

To keep buses running, the TASD school board has approved an attendance incentive plan for bus drivers. Over the next 22 days, drivers with perfect attendance will receive an extra $1,100 in their paychecks.

“This is an incentive to recognize that you are experiencing fatigue from driving multiple routes, the increased length of your routes, so we recognize that and we want you to push through and stick with us,” Bulluck said.

Part-time drivers will get and extra $550 for perfect attendance during this time period.

“What was presented to the board was for one month and we will evaluate that plan and see if it made an impact and if it did, we will present it back to the board in March,” Bulluck said.

Some administrators and teachers are being used to help with the bus drivers shortage as well.

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