Nationwide shortage of bus drivers hits Middletown Schools

The district is offering thousands in hiring bonuses to recruit school bus drivers.
Published: Sep. 23, 2021 at 5:32 PM EDT
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BUTLER COUNTY, Ohio (WXIX) - A school bus driver shortage is impacting districts in Ohio and nationwide.

Gov. Mike DeWine brought up the issue in his Thursday media briefing. The governor made a public plea for bus drivers, asking any Ohioan with a CDL license and bus driver certification to contact their local school district to help drive buses.

DeWine also said AG Dave Yost will expedite background checks for school bus drivers.

The driver shortage has already impacted Tri-State school districts. It led to weeks of acrimony in Cincinnati Public Schools after Metro was forced to cut dedicated, nonstop student routes due to a driver shortage.

Now Middletown City Schools is desperate for drivers—and it’s offering new incentives to recruit them.

Bus Drivers Wanted

In an effort to recruit and retain bus drivers, Petermann Bus is offering a competitive incentive program to current and new 🚌 drivers. ➡️Positions start at $17/hour. ➡️New drivers will receive $2,000. Plus, fully paid training, guaranteed hours, and substitutes. Training typically takes 4-6 weeks for new drivers. ➡️Current drivers will receive a $2,000 referral bonus if they recruit successful new drivers. 💜Join the team #MiddieRising Apply online or 📞 513-420-4568

Posted by Middletown City Schools on Thursday, September 23, 2021

“We’re constantly looking for drivers to fill open routes. Unfortunately, we’re just not able to get enough drivers to fill those open positions,” said Eric Sotzing, the director of business operations for Middletown Schools.

Sotzing says the district currently has three open routes needing drivers, which is having an impact on students, parents and current bus drivers as well.

“Our bus drivers are stepping up taking double routes. Our routers are rerouting and doing things to alleviate the situation, but without having all the routes covered, it results in longer ride times for kids and longer wait times for parents.”

Sotzing says the district currently has 46 bus drivers and is hoping to hire around 10 new people bringing that number to 56.

If you’re interested, apply online.

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