FRANKLIN, Tenn. (WKRN) – Even though wages have been raised and signing bonuses offered, there is still a bus driver shortage in Williamson County.
The district is short 20 drivers, so the board approved a bus driver pilot program on Monday night.
“We can’t have school unless our students arrive to school on time so we need bus drivers to do that,” said Superintendent Dr. Mike Looney.
The Williamson school district has the eighth largest fleet in the state with more than 260 drivers running nearly 750 routes a day.
Some of those routes are becoming overcrowded, which is why the board is approving the program.
Looney says new drivers can send their own kids to Williamson County Schools even if they live outside the district.
“The question became how we increase benefits at little cost to the local tax payers.”
The district typically forces out-of-county students to pay tuition.
“It is about $3,800 a year that we are going to waive for a potential bus driver that would want to bring their children with them to school,” Dr. Looney explained.
The district pays $13,000 a year and offers full benefits for drivers.
Looney says to be considered for the position, you have to have a drivers’ license and a clean background check. The district will help you get a commercial driver’s license and training.
“It gives them opportunity to provide something that we hope would be a benefit to the family,” says District 8 Member Candy Emerson.
The board hopes the district’s reputation will sell itself.
“They’re in the best district in the state of Tennessee. The caliber of the education is not surpassable.”
If you are interested in applying for the program, click here to visit the district’s website.