Parents scramble to get kids to school as some NJ districts face bus driver shortage

School districts are facing a shortage of bus drivers now that kids are back in the classroom.

News 12 Staff

Sep 15, 2021, 12:21 AM

Updated 948 days ago

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School districts are facing a shortage of bus drivers now that kids are back in the classroom.
Each impacted district is handling the problem differently.
For Joseph Lara and his wife, the new school year has become a juggling act when it comes to getting their two children to school.
"My one son is in an ABA program for autistic children and my other son is in an LLD program for children with speech issues, so they both get special transportation from the district and the schools are about 20 minutes apart," the Edison resident said Tuesday.
But Lara said after the Rosh Hashana holiday, he was told his kids would no longer have transportation.
The district told News 12 New Jersey in an email that their contracted bus company cut 40 of the 115 routes in the district. The bus driver shortage has left Lara and his wife, who both work full time and share a car, in a hard spot.
"We're dealing with it today, matter of fact, my wife and I. My kids are home because my wife had to go to a work function and had to drive out to Long Island with the car, and so I did not physically have a way to get them to school and back and pick them up," Lara said.
In Glassboro, Gloucester County, they are understaffed by eight drivers. School officials there say their solution to that is to start dismissing the high schoolers in the intermediate school students early so that they can be home before their younger siblings.
The district held a meeting Monday to address the issue with parents, which is something Lara said he wishes Edision school officials would do.
"We just want to see answers, solutions, give us a timetable, whether this is going to be solved or if we're going to have bus service out by next Monday. Give us something that we can plan around," Lara said.
The superintendent of Edison Township Public Schools said the district is working to find a solution to the problem.
There is no timeline on when the district's students will be bused again.


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