Deptford School District seeking new school bus drivers to fill open positions

A Gloucester County school district was forced to dismiss its high schoolers early on Monday because of a school bus driver shortage.

News 12 Staff

Sep 27, 2021, 9:12 PM

Updated 934 days ago

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A Gloucester County school district was forced to dismiss its high schoolers early on Monday because of a school bus driver shortage.
“We’re competing with everyone for the same limited pool of drivers right now,” says Salvatore Randazzo, the communications coordinator for the Deptford Township School District.
The district provides its own transportation to school and has even looked into contracting out drivers due to the shortage. But so far the district has not had any luck.
Because of the shortage, early childhood and elementary school times were skirted back and students at the high school are let out 15 minutes early.
“That does make it a little bit more frustrating, but I think that’s all they can do if they can’t hire bus drivers,” says parent Jerome Phillips.
Gov. Phil Murphy addressed the statewide problem at his COVID-19 briefing.
“There’s no question, it’s an issue. But we are directly involved in matchmaking and trying to get this solved as fast as possible,” the governor said.
The Deptford School District is about 10-20 drivers short. To entice more people to apply for the positions, the district has increased the hourly pay and added bonuses.
"We've raised the starting salary to $23 an hour or so for new drivers coming in the first day. No experience, we will help you get training to get the [commercial driver’s license]. We've put out to our other staff like teachers or custodians, anybody else, ‘Hey, if you already have a CDL would you be interested in picking up some extra routes?’ Coaches may be taking their own players to games since they're going anyway, things like that,” says Randazzo.
The district says that it does not have a timeline for how long the shortage will go on.
“Even if we could just get seven, eight, nine drivers right now, it would make a huge difference for us,” Randazzo says.
More information on how to apply for the open bus driver positions can be found on the district’s website.


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