More than 5,000,000 students attend public schools across the state of Texas, but school districts say getting them to class has become an issue, and that bus driver shortage has hit North Texas.
The Allen Independent School District is seeking to fix a shortage of drivers. Officials say mechanics, dispatchers and transportation office personnel have all filled in as bus drivers because of the shortage.
Allen ISD is growing, and so are the number of routes and children heading to class. One of the biggest determining factors for getting a new driver behind the wheel of a bus is starting pay.
Allen ISD Board of Trustees on Monday voted to raise bus drivers' current salaries of $15.25 per hour to $16.75 per hour. The board also approved a bonus of $125 every 9 weeks for perfect attendance.
"There are other investments," said Kyle Pursifull, the Director of Transportation for Allen ISD. "We will pay you while we train you. We will pay for your five written exams, we will pay for your pre-trip and road tests. Not only do we give you the proper training and materials we'll pay you every step of the way."
The salary increase puts Allen ISD at the top of the list compared to other districts.
Starting pay in other North Texas school districts:
- Dallas ISD: $16.63/hr
- Frisco ISD: $16.63/hr
- Garland ISD: $16.10/hr
- Mansfield ISD: $15.50/hr
- Rockwall ISD: $14.50/hr