School official: ‘We need bus drivers’

Published: Jul. 26, 2021 at 5:40 PM EDT
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TOWN OF BROWNVILLE, New York (WWNY) - As we get ready for a school year that may seem less challenging than last year, there’s something else school districts have to worry about: finding bus drivers.

Before kids can take a seat at their desks, they have to get to school.

General Brown Central School District has the busses, but it’s missing the drivers.

“We’re working really hard to recruit bus drivers,” said Superintendent Barbara Case. “We’re doing anything we can, including putting a bus out in front of any school in order to draw attention that we need bus drivers.”

Case says General Brown had to switch to online learning multiple times during the pandemic due to a lack of bus drivers and it could happen again.

If they don’t fill enough open positions, they’ll have to rely on mechanics and subs.

“We can open, we will open, and we certainly will rely on our substitute bus drivers as well, but that’s not good practice for us so we want to get a solid foundation of full-time employees on board,” said Case.

General Brown isn’t alone on its hunt to find bus drivers. Case says this is an issue seen by a lot of school districts across the north country.

“It’s trying to find ways to recruit and encourage people to come without stealing from one another because that does us no good to steal from another district that will also be short,” she said.

The district will be offering sign-on bonuses and will train individuals if necessary.

People who are hired will be part of the New York State Retirement System, and receive health, vision, and dental benefits.

Questions about the job and/or training should be directed to Assistant Director of Transportation Jason Valentin at 315-779-2325.

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