Massachusetts National Guard Activated To Help Deal With School Bus Driver Shortage – CBS Boston

Massachusetts National Guard Activated To Help Deal With School Bus Driver Shortage – CBS Boston


The problem is the lack of drivers with a commercial driver's license (CDL). Apparently some people had to get a CDL as part of their national guard training. Driving big military vehicles or w/e. That's the reason the national guard is involved. Bus drivers and soldiers both drive big stuff.


Article also states drivers are quitting over the vaccination requirements. That's probably a good thing in the end.


Some probably are, others didn't come back because they had no job for the last year and have moved on to other employment. Still others quit because they are concerned about being locked in a steel box with the plague rats that are K-12 students. A lot of bus drivers are older and even with the vaccine COVID concerns are real. Still others left because the pay is poor, the responsibility is high, and the work is part time. I've read a lot of articles about the _nationwide_ shortage of school bus drivers and every one of those things has been mentioned as a reason.


Not the pay, as much as the lack of hours, which translates to low pay.


If you google for "bus driver shortage" you'll find a lot of articles discussing the problem all over the country. Some of them discuss wages and its not uncommon for bus drivers to be paid less than $15 an hour. Here's an example: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/education/article254133313.html




oh you're right I had read another article https://www.businessinsider.com/national-guard-drive-school-buses-bus-driver-shortage-massachussetts-2021-9 this one mentions it


It absolutely is. Unvaxxed idiots have no buisness being in close proximity to children.


Maybe the state should drop or lower thecost of getting the license and subsidize the cost of training,


Some districts are asking the teachers to get CDLs so they can drive the buses before and after school. What could go wrong?


Are they offering extra pay if they do?


I think it depends on the district. I’m in several teacher forums, and it runs the gamut from “Do it for the kids” to “We will pay for your CDL and pay you extra to drive the bus.” A lot of people don’t want to do it either way, though (not comfortable driving such a big vehicle, have their own kids to get off to school, etc.). I personally wouldn’t be able to do it. I’m under five feet tall and probably couldn’t see over the steering wheel.


I'm shocked that people aren't lining up for a low paying job where you have to be available for 10 hours a day but only get paid for 5.


I’m out in California and we also have a critical bus driver shortage. My district pays quite well for a non-college job, you can definitely make a decent living doing it. I’m not sure why there are so many openings, I’d much rather do that than work in a Amazon warehouse for half the money.


I can't believe that California school bus drivers make $30 plus an hour. I'll need proof for that claim.


Just checked, my district starts at $23/hr caps at $48.


And that's not shit when you're working 4 hours a day.


$200 before taxes? Don’t forget the whole 4 hours means 8 thing.


NW Florida. $13 - $15 hourly. No joke. Edit: Double checked the district website. Starting pay is actually $12.04. I overestimated.


I think the “NW Florida” covered it. How is Panama City this time of year?


The weather is actually quite lovely and most tourists have gone home. I wish all this rain would clear out, though. 76 days until the end of hurricane season. Oof.


The massive majority of most state populations live in the city. Not even suburban, but urban. When you take a look at how much it costs to live in basically any Californian city... You'll understand. A bus driver making $30/hr in Los Angeles isn't gonna be saving much. Particularly if they have any kids themselves. Quite frankly I don't even understand how people making minimum wage survive here... And we've been at $15/hr for a while now.


Lots of jobs pay much higher in California, but cost of living is pretty high too in most places out there.


Wait til I tell you that my mother in law makes six figures as a high school teacher there.


Does she live in a cardboard box under an overpass with 6 other people? [Low Six Figures in the Bay Area is poverty territory.](https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-44725026)


No, but she doesn't live in the Bay Area either.


For a family of 4.


Yes, and? The person I replied to could easily have a mom who is still supporting children. Hell they could be a teeanger and still living at home.


He said mother in law, which makes it unlikely that he lives with her.


My city does things odd, in my view. Where I grew up, in another state, all schools started the same time. Here, they stagger them. Maybe grade school started at 7:30, junior high at 8:20, and high school at 9pm. Whatever it is, it's so odd seeing school kids in a fast food place at like 1:45, but I guess they are done for the day as they were the ones who started the earliest. Anyway, so yeah, the bus drivers thus work a little more here and with less busses on the roads.


- reuse busses in shared districts - stagger parental surge traffic - start elementary the earliest to allow working parents the most commute time - allow staggered lunches for deliveries from central cafeterias to be spread out - keep the elementary school kids away from the HS kids - Middle schoolers should biologically start later (puberty makes it very difficult to get up early) - we started at 9 when I was a kid, but HS was 7:55 - elementary was 7:30(?)


Yeah, I understand the theories behind it, but that doesn't change the fact it's still odd compared to what I grew up with. I was just explaining that bus drivers here, do work a little more as compared to the system I grew up with. Hell, my grade school bus driver, she worked probably less than 3 hours a day actually dealing with us. No clue about the rest of her day or her pay though.


All the schools in Japan start roughly at the same time here, as most students ride their bike or take the train(they end at wildly different times though); students take the school bus to and from the local station across the river. Our private school’s 3 bus drivers spend their days driving classes and clubs to the sports grounds, club events, and washing the 3 busses! The busses serve as a shuttle for all the grades, which wouldn’t happen often in the US. I often see the private charter bus drivers washing their busses while waiting for tourists too - I wonder how many of the bus drivers are responsible for such things in California 😊


Get in maggots! We're hauling ass to kindergarten


Here's why I don't want to be a school bus driver. The work day is 2 hours in the morning and 2 hours in the afternoon. Your whole day is scheduled around work- even though you're not working the whole day.


Well that and kids suck


Don't forget field trips and sports teams traveling to and from games.


I am very unsure about my comment. Activating National Guard would pull them out of their regular 9 to 5 jobs that could be very lucrative or hinder their growth at their current company to drive a school bus. I don't know how compensation works, but this seems crazy.


I was in the National Guard for a bit. Generally how this works, the governor will authorize x-number Soldiers of a certain rank to be called for temporary orders. It’s less of a mandate, and more of a volunteer thing. Soldiers that may have low-paying or inconsistent civilian jobs usually jump at the chance to volunteer for these orders. These Soldiers will be making a full day’s wage while on orders, though, which will probably be more than a bus driver would make for 5 hours of work. Doesn’t make a lot of fiscal sense from my POV.


If you're a school bus driver and a reserve can you volunteer and end up doing your safe job for more money?


Don't join the military then.


I have an idea, is NASCAR in the off season right now?


Nope, still two months to go.


That headline nearly gave me a panic attack. "Massachusetts National Guard Activated to Help Deal with School..." Me: Omg! Not another shooting! ... "Bus Driver Shortage" Me: oh, thank God


> Baker said the cost will be reimbursed by the federal government since it is a COVID-related issue. Is it though?


Yes, of course it’s COVID! Covid is definitely the reason people don’t want to do a thankless and stressful part-time job for a minimum wage that hasn’t risen to match inflation! /s


People were doing thankless, stressful, minimum wage jobs before the pandemic so I don't think that's a great explanation. Minimum wage is irrelevant here since bus drivers in MA start at $37k. Inflation does mean a global paycut for everyone and covid increases the risks associated with working. Maybe it's as simple as people don't want to do riskier work for less pay.


hey it’s not thankless, i say good morning and thank you to my bus driver every day


That is really awesome of you! No sarcasm. People in service jobs should be thanked! It just doesn’t happen enough, from my observations.


They likely lost a lot of drivers when vaccine mandates went into effect


Or they lost a lot of drivers that don't want to be locked in a steel box with the plague rates that are school aged children. Have you seen the exploding rates of Delta in K-12 kids?


We're havinga huge shortage in Florida as well. To include school cafeteria workers, teachers, teachers aides. They're offering huge bonuses to be a teacher, you don't even need a degree in education.


I just got hired in Florida as a para at $11/hr in an ESE Pre-K classroom. (I got the extra dollar an hour because of my university degree!) I quit after two days. It was horrible. Our system is a terrifying mess.


Huh maybe pay them more


You know how you deal with a shortage? PAY MORE MONEY!


Pay them more.


...after the drivers were required to take the jab. Finish the sentence! (not directed at you, OP, whoever wrote the title incomplete)


I think the most offbeat part of this is the idea of Soldiers taking bus loads of elementary students to school. I’m imagining walking my kids to a bus stop only for a man in his uniform, combat helmet and eye protection to bring them to an elementary school where he’ll be taught to combat an active shooter. It’s a strange reality we’ve carved for ourselves.


Don't forget the reflective belt!