CARY, N.C. (WNCN) – Perfect attendance is encouraged for students and now for bus drivers. It’s part of an effort by the Wake County Public Schools System to retain and recruit bus drivers.
According to the district, the transportation department has a 33 percent vacancy rate for drivers, 35 percent vacancy rate for safety assistants, and a 29 percent vacancy rate for mechanics.
In addition to the driver vacancy rate, district staff says the daily call-out rate for bus drivers is 12 percent- leaving drivers to double up on routes or leaving routes uncovered altogether. To help retain drivers and reduce uncovered routes, the school board will vote Tuesday evening on a monthly $200 bonus for transportation staff who have perfect attendance with a $2,000 limit per year. The current attendance bonus is $1,000 paid once a semester.
A raise is also being proposed for some school staff who have a Master’s, Advanced, or Doctorate degree. In 2013, lawmakers changed pay schedules limiting who could receive these higher degree incentives.
District staff believe up to 650 staff members could benefit from the incentive. Those staff include teachers, social workers, speech language pathologists, audiologists, guidance counselors, and psychologists.
A vote for both proposals is scheduled for Tuesday evening.