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Lee County School Board members looking at ways to get more bus drivers

Lee School Bus
Posted at 7:49 AM, Feb 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-02-07 19:31:57-05

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — The School District of Lee County school board members are meeting Tuesday to discuss ways to help attract more school bus drivers to the district.

The board is looking at short-term incentives to help meet the need for school bus operators and transportation support.

In an effort to recruit additional school bus operators/transportation support, the board is requesting approval for the following to attract more community members starting February 27, 2023, and ending February 26, 2024:

1. Pay the hiring costs associated with becoming a school bus operator/transportation support in the amount of $347.50 per bus operator. (This cost could be reduced by $117.00 if an x-ray for the TB test is not required.) Many applicants do not have the means to pay these fees.
D.O.E. Physical Exam $74.00
Fingerprinting $50.25
TB Test/X-ray $155.00
CDL License $68.25
Should the school bus operator/transportation support leave the position for any reason including resignation, termination, and/or transfer, before the completion of one (1) year of employment with the District, the costs associated with becoming a school bus operator/transportation support provided by the District will be deducted from their final paycheck.

2. Waive the requirement of a high school diploma/equivalent to become transportation support, this requirement was waived for school bus operator/transportation support in June 2018. By waiving this requirement to become transportation support, the District will be able to hire a driving candidate first as substitute transportation support, and then as a substitute school bus operator after all criteria is met. School bus operator candidates are required to pass four tests at the DMV to obtain their CDL Permit: General Knowledge, Air Brakes, Passenger, and School Bus exams. These exams require studying to pass and ensure the applicant is prepared to attend the District Bus Operator Training Course. This waiver will not impact the safety of students.

3. Provide a $100.00 incentive for any District employee that refers an applicant that becomes a Bus Operator and works for 30 school days.