Texarkana Arkansas School District Launches Incentive Program to Help Address Bus Driver Shortage

TEXARKANA, Ark. (KSLA) – For most schools, the wheels on the bus struggle to turn, but an Arkansas school district hopes to fix that problem with a financial incentive.

Like other school districts, the Texarkana Arkansas School District (TASD) is in dire need of bus drivers. School leaders say around 50% of its 3,800 students use the bus system to get to and from school. Officials say due to COVID-19 it has become difficult to secure bus drivers; the district is now set to eliminate some roads to help alleviate the situation. Officials say the work of current drivers is not going unnoticed.

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

To keep the 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 additional $1,100 on their paycheck.

“It’s an encouragement to recognize that you are feeling fatigue from driving multiple routes, the increased length of your routes, so we recognize that and we want you to persevere and stay with us,” he said. said Bulluck.

Part-time drivers will receive an additional $550 for perfect attendance during this time.

“What was presented to the board was for a month and we will assess this plan and see if it had an impact and if so we will present it to the board in March,” Bulluck said.

Some administrators and teachers are also used to help with the shortage of bus drivers.

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Ryan H. Bowman