Anchorage School District suffering bus driver shortage heading into new school year
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The Anchorage School District has a bus driver shortage two weeks ahead of the first day of school for Anchorage students.
Anchorage School District Superintendent Jharrett Bryantt sent a letter to families on Wednesday alerting them that the driver shortage could trigger temporary suspension of school bus routes.
“As of today, we are 75 bus drivers short of meeting our operational needs for bus transportation,” Bryantt wrote. “The Operations division is working through logistics to manage our routes given our staffing shortage.”
Bryantt noted that Special Education transportation services are not expected to have route interruptions. To attract new bus drivers, the district is offering an incentive package for both new drivers and those who are already school bus drivers for ASD. The email to parents included a link to the bus driver application and the Transportation Department’s page for the latest information.
“The District is committed to addressing these operational challenges to ensure we fulfill our mission to educate all students for success in life,” Bryantt wrote.
As part of the district’s push to attract drivers, drivers can receive up to $2,500 in additional pay, and bus attendants can receive an extra $500.
MJ Thim, a spokesperson for the district, wrote in an email that the district has received very few applications for bus driver positions over the summer. Thim said that positions are open for both full-time and part-time work
Rob Holland, acting chief of operations for the district, said that the message went out to parents in order to alert them that they may need to plan for alternative transportation methods for their students.
“We have our shortage of applicants a shortage of drivers. Not unlike the shortage in the labor force throughout Anchorage and Alaska, as we’ve come to know it,” Holland said. “This is a program that is designed to have a meaningful impact, and help us with this problem and help us compete.”
This article has been updated with additional information.
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