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CT Faces School Bus Driver Shortage As Start Of New Academic Year Nears

With the new school year quickly approaching, districts across Connecticut are dealing with a shortage of school bus drivers.
With the new school year quickly approaching, districts across Connecticut are dealing with a shortage of school bus drivers. Photo Credit: M&J Bus Inc.

With the new school year quickly approaching, districts across Connecticut are once again dealing with a shortage of bus drivers.

Every bus company in the state is hiring for the new school year, according to reports.

Altogether, the Connecticut School Transportation Association (COSTA) said the state needs to fill approximately one thousand open jobs.

The situation has become so desperate that in Hartford County, the South Windsor School District sent a letter to families asking whether parents themselves could take the necessary steps to become licensed bus drivers, or spread the word to family and friends.

"The district is anticipating there will be continued issues with bus driver shortages as we head into the new school year,” the district said.

While exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the bus driver shortage has been an issue for a number of years, Jon Hipsher, chief operating officer of M&J Buss, told CT Insider.

Historically, the pay wasn’t great, while others were uneasy at the thought of driving a 40-foot bus filled with noisy kids, he told the outlet.

Several school districts were forced to delay or cancel classes altogether due to the shortage during the 2021-2022 school year. 

COSTA held a week-long recruitment event at the beginning of August 2022 as part of an effort to help bus companies find new drivers.

Those interested in learning more about the certification process to become a bus driver are encouraged to visit COSTA’s website.

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