Laurel School District raises pay for bus drivers

LSD is fighting back against bus driver shortage by raising pay
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 9:50 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - Across the Pine Belt, school districts have been struggling to fill their bus driver positions.

The bus driver shortage has been very concerning for most of them.

According to Laurel School District Superintendent Dr. Toy Watts, the school district is fighting back with a pay increase.

“I think our old pay scale, some of the numbers have was around nine or $10 an hour. We have raised, with zero experience, our pay scale to start at $14 an hour in an effort to try to recruit,” says Watts.

The district also has another incentive to get retired teachers to apply for the job --- the school district will reimburse their insurance.

“So individuals who have retired, and that four [hundred], 500 or $600 that they’re paying, the district will reimburse. With 25 years of experience, then of driving experience, you’ll get that plus we’ll pay your insurance as a retired teacher employee,” says Assistant Superintendent and Director of Operations Dr. Michael Eubanks.

“The buses fall under his purview, and he’s even out there driving the bus. We have some coaches who actually teach and some teachers with CDLs who actually drive routes in the morning before they come to work,” says Watts. “We have everyone pulling together to try to make sure that we get our kids to and from school in a timely manner. So, we’re working extremely hard.”

Eubanks says all of the bus drivers are taking on three and four extra routes a day

“So currently, right now we have a staff, we have a really good staff, whose pulling together to make sure that things are getting done. But... if we could get eight to 10 drivers, then we would be in a very good space,” says Eubanks.

If you’d like to apply to be a bus driver for the Laurel School District, the job listing is on their website or call the district operations department at (601) 649-6392.

Copyright 2021 WDAM. All rights reserved.