AUSTIN, Minn. - Austin Public Schools is working with Palmer Bus Service to work out a school bus driver shortage. The bus service is now short 13 drivers. The company hires many retirees, and because of the health risks of COVID-19 in older adults, some drivers are dropping out of their routes.
If you have the means to do so, the school district asks you drive your kids to school until a solution can be found. Superintendent Krenz tells KIMT the hybrid learning model for secondary students is helping, because half the amount of students need to be shuttled each day, but the bus drivers are still coming up short. If no solution can be found, changing to full-time distance learning is a possibility.
"This is about the safety of our kids. We want to make sure that they're getting here safely and that's the frustrating side from my part. We know the safest way to get kids to school is on a bus if you look at the statistics, and we want to make that happen," says Superintendent David Krenz.
Palmer is currently training 8 more drivers, but safe training takes time and the licensing process at the DMV is backed up. If you happen to already have a bus license and are willing to drive, get in touch with the school district or Palmer Bus Service.