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Henrico offering up to $3,000 bonuses to attract school bus drivers

Henrico County Public Schools
Posted at 4:57 PM, Aug 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-26 18:25:31-04

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- Henrico County Public Schools joined Central Virginia and the rest of the nation with a critical need for bus drivers.

CBS 6 last reported that Henrico Schools may start the year on September 8 with 115 drivers short.

Henrico Schools Pupil Transportation Director Jim Ellis addressed the School Board during a “Back to School” presentation at New Bridge Learning Center on Thursday.

Without specifying an exact number, Ellis told the Board he still needs to hire more than 100 bus drivers before the start of the school year. He also announced new bonus to attract new hires and compete with neighboring districts.

“We are implementing a new bonus that we are started. It’s $1,000 for new drivers that are just coming in with no experience. $2,000 if you have a CDL [commercial driver’s license]. $3,000 if you have your P and S endorsements. That’s something we are starting today to get more drivers in,” Ellis explained.

Ellis talked about the lengthy process to train new hires without experience. There are a few dozen applicants in the pipeline waiting to be trained.

He warned that the shortages will result in delays at the bus stop due to some drivers required to run double routes.

The CBS 6 Problem Solvers have reported on another large school district in Central Virginia struggling this week with a lack of bus drivers.

Chesterfield Schools continued to tackle long lines for morning and afternoon pick-ups outside some schools. In some cases, no buses were available to pick up students in some neighborhoods, according to several parents.

Chesterfield Schools started the school year Monday with 100 bus drivers short.

Superintendent Merv Daughtery apologized for the “stress” and “frustration” the driver shortage has caused for students and their families during the first week of school.

This is a developing story, so anyone with more information can email newstips@wtvr.com to send a tip.