Park Rapids school superintendent stresses bus driver shortage
A bus driver shortage has reached the critical point, prompting the Park Rapids Area School District to raise the pay for substitute drivers. The school board on Monday approved the pay increase for subs to $17.50/hour with school superintendent ...
A bus driver shortage has reached the critical point, prompting the Park Rapids Area School District to raise the pay for substitute drivers. The school board on Monday approved the pay increase for subs to $17.50/hour with school superintendent Lance Bagstad stating the district is in dire need of substitute bus drivers. Bagstad said with so few drivers available the district needs to offer competitive pay to surrounding districts. “I do believe we need to make sure we have enough drivers to get our kids to school because if we don’t have drivers we won’t have school,” he said. “It is a very, very serious situation out there when it comes to drivers.” Bagstad went on to say raising the pay won’t necessarily solve the problem but hopes it will at least help the problem. “We need to be consistent with the going rate around our area. There’s just not than many subs around.”
The subs become regular route drivers, leaving a shortage of drivers to fill the sub role. Factor in school activities in the evenings and it becomes even more of an issue, Bagstad said. The district is actively recruiting drivers and does provide training for certification. Board member Gary Gauldin commented the topic of bus driver shortage comes up in just about every education meeting he’s been in the last six months and is an issue across the state, from big schools to small schools.
Consent items n Approved White Earth Head Start Program memo of understanding n Approved Community Career Collaboration Coordinator Kari Tomperi through Northwest Minnesota Foundation Grant n Approved new hire Roger Hocking, bus driver n Approved one to one Special Education position