Parents in NC town are fed up with the lack of bus drivers to transport kids to school

North Carolina news

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (WJZY) — A national school bus driver shortage continues to impact local school districts. Parents at Mooresville Graded School District say they’re tired of trying to find rides for their kids in the morning when buses show up late.

Out of the 47 school buses within MGSD, the district says they currently have eight driver openings. Those openings are filled with drivers from their substitute list, but on days like Monday, when three drivers called out sick, it causes a big mess.

“Me and my friends were just waiting like, ‘where is the bus?’” said one Mooresville Middle School student, who says he was left waiting at his bus stop for more than 45 minutes Monday morning.

His mom tells FOX 46 he and a friend waited for her husband to return from work to take them to school.

“It upset me because we’re not able to get our son to school at the time that he needs to be there. That’s why we choose to ride the bus,” she said.

Mooresville Graded School District’s Chief Communication Officer Tanae McLean says a substitute bus driver did come to this particular bus stop Monday morning, but extremely early. Most students missed the bus.

“By the time we found out that this route was in need of a driver, and you get the driver on the bus and you get the driver to the bus stop, it was late,” she said.

McLean says the school bus driver shortage is a frustrating situation for both the district and the parents. She says it’s causing more late pickups this year compared to years past.

“It’s a struggle every single day,” said McLean.

It’s not the first time parents in the district have had issues with buses showing late. When it happens, many families report having to leave work to take their kids to school.

“My mom happened to be off work today, so she was able to come and take him. Otherwise, I would have left work and came and took him and went back to work,” said MGSD parent Erica White. “It’s ridiculous.”

Shortage or not, parents say their kids need to get to school. And with busy work schedules, they often can’t be the ones to take them there.

“I understand, but I also feel like maybe they should pay bus drivers more, and maybe they would have more help,” said White.

The district is actively seeking and hiring new bus drivers. To apply, click here.

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