Changes in state rules could help with school bus driver shortage

School bus
School bus(WWNY)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 5:59 AM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - The South Jefferson school district went to remote learning Thursday and will do it again Friday.

The superintendent tells 7 News that 13 members of its transportation staff are out due to COVID and non-COVID related reasons.

Last week, Gov. Kathy Hochul announced her plan to make it easier for people to get a commercial driver license, which is what you need to drive a bus.

Assemblyman Mark Walczyk proposed the idea to the governor earlier this month after hearing from north country school officials.

“The superintendent up in Alex Bay, his business official was going through the process to get a CDL with an ‘S’ designation,” Walczyk said, “so that his business official could drive a school bus when they’re out a bus driver.”

Hochul’s plan calls for third parties to offer road tests and to expand testing at state-run sites.

The goal is to reduce the time it takes to get a commercial driver’s license. The state Department of Motor Vehicles will hold a public hearing on it next Wednesday.

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