Parents braced for a disorganized first day of school after a mass resignation of school bus drivers leading to the cancelation of bus service for more than 2,000 students, reported the Chicago Tribune.
In a statement, Chicago Public Schools (CPS) said that according to bus companies, the cause of drivers resigning was likely due to the vaccination requirement. On Aug. 26, Gov. JB Pritzer and Illinois Department of Health Director Dr. Ngozi Ezike announced vaccination requirements for all individuals in high-risk settings, including pre-k-12 teachers and staff. Those unwilling or unable to get vaccinated, will be required to get tested for COVID-19 at least once a week.
Employees must get their first shot by Sept. 5.
CPS parent Eric DeChant, told the Chicago Tribune that he and his northwest side community were rushing to find carpools and other ways of transportation to get their children to school.
CPS officials said the district generated a plan to pick up students 15-30 minutes earlier than the usual time. However, the week before the first day class about 90 bus drivers resigned, leaving the district 500 drivers short.
Amid the shortage, about 2,100 students including 990 special education students will not have bus transportation. Nevertheless, the district had decided to offer students affected by this situation a $1,000 stipend for the first two weeks of school, with $500 monthly after that.
Numerous industries, including food and construction service had experienced a shortage in workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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