CHELSEA, Mass. — A school bus driver shortage is causing problems all over the country.
It is difficult and frustrating. We finally have schools that are clean and all our students are up to date with their vaccinations. But then, our children are late due to transportation problems,” stated Almi Abeyta (superintendent of the Chelsea school district).
She is familiar with the challenges faced by Chelsea, Massachusetts. It was the one that was most affected by covid in spring 2020. She understands how that has affected students.
Abeyta said, “Our students haven’t been here for an entire year.”
Abeyta said that 40% of them chose to remain in remote learning and that this fall was their first time back in the classroom since they left at the end March 2021.
The road has been bumpy.
John McCarty of NRT Transportation, which transports 125 million children every day, stated that school bus drivers are not something you can grow on trees.
There aren’t enough drivers at the moment, which is McCarty’s only problem.
“You should know that 18 months without a paycheck is quite a time if you don’t have unemployment. McCarty said that there are some older people who are concerned about COVID-19.
The state of Massachusetts has put the national guard in charge of getting kids to school.
McCarty said, “They do all kinds to help out people like us anywhere from protecting freedom to driving our kids.”
Abeyta said, “We know that the national Guard brought in 15 service members to drive buses mostly door-to-door.”
Chelsea will be one of nine schools that will be receiving drivers from the Massachusetts National Guard.
This story was not conducted by the Massachusetts National Guard.
Governor Charlie Baker, however, stated that the guards received vehicle training, background screening, and a comprehensive review of safety and health measures.
It’s not just a Massachusetts problem.
Districts all across the country are facing the same shortage.
“We speak with organizations similar to ours. McCarty said that they are looking at 15-20% of the workforce being in shortage.
Abeyta claims that the national Guard is always there to help America in times of need. This unique solution makes perfect economic sense.
“We have had the national Guard here during the pandemic. They distributed food.
The national guard gave vaccines to residents. Abeyta said that the relationship was already very trusting with the national Guard.