Substitute bus drivers in need
The Vermilion Parish School Board is recruiting new substitute bus drivers because it is in desperate need of them.
The School Board, like surrounding parishes, are shorthanded when it comes to substitute bus drivers.
There are 88 bus routes and only five substitute drivers. However, three of those five are on full-time routes today.
One of the two who is not on a full-time route works 7-and-7 off shore and the other part-timer can only drive in the Gueydan area.
Bottom line, the School Board is desperately in search of substitute bus drivers.
“I am not sure why we have so few,” said Lonnie Richard, who is in charge of transportation for the School Board. “I am not sure if it is the booming oil field or that people think they don’t have the requirements, to be a bus driver.”
For starters, one must be 21 years old and have a high school diploma or GED to drive a bus.
A bus driver has to take four courses, along with obtaining a CDL driver’s license in order to drive a bus.
Richard said the School Board will teach two of the four driving classes for free on Saturday, Oct. 11.
The two classes are defense driving and rules and regulations of the road. It will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. If interested, contact Richard at 898-5709.
According to Richard, a substitute driver works no more than six hours a day and earns $57.75 per day.
Because there is a shortage, Richard predicts a part-time driver could work everyday taking another driver’s place.
School districts nationwide have struggled to fill bus driver positions in recent years.
The American Federation of Teachers cited the following reasons for the shortage of drivers and cafeteria workers: irregular hours (usually less than full time), seasonal schedules (little or no work in the summer), relatively low pay (both within the school system and compared to many similar private-sector jobs) and tough working conditions (especially for bus drivers, whose unresolved complaints about poor student discipline could fill volumes).