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Lee County School Board extends hiring bus drivers without high school diploma

Posted at 12:35 AM, Jun 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-05 00:35:41-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. -- Lee County Schools are out for summer break, but the district is still 25 bus drivers short.

There are 750 bus routes across Lee County with only have 725 drivers, “we lost drivers throughout the year so we are in the position where we need to hire more drivers,” said Rob Spricker, Lee County Schools, Media Relations

Tuesday night Lee County School Board approved a year extension on it’s incentive program for new bus driver’s. It includes lifting the high school diploma requirement, but applicants still have to pass the five tests to get behind the wheel

“And that ensures those students are safe because every driver has to pass those,” said Spicker.

Back in February Fox 4 spoke with parents of kids who were late to school because of this shortage.

“There’s absolutely no excuse for not scheduling a bus to pick these kids up,” said Julia Perry, Parent.

“It’s getting old because my kids are getting late to school, which means they are missing out on their education and my kids normally have perfect attendance all the time,” said Mary Evans, Parent.

Starting July 1st the starting wage for school bus driver’s will go up to 16 dollars an hour.

“So we hope that that as well brings in more applicants for the next school year and becomes more competitive,” said Spricker.

The Lee County School District is planning to have bus drivers fully staffed before the next school year rolls around.

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