Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools in Georgia will not be able to transport all 25,000 students this year who depend on the districts’ bus system, due to school bus driver shortage, reported The Current.
Officials shared that due to the growing demand and enhanced benefits offered by other commercial transport and logistics companies in the area, Savannah-Chatham cannot attract enough bus drivers. Currently, there are 217 drivers employed by the district, yet the organization is short the 290 to 300 drivers needed transport all students during the upcoming school year.
The issue of transportation has been a challenge not only for Savannah-Chatham but also for school districts around the state, even before the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, post-pandemic, the situation is becoming more difficult.
The district is implementing a plan in an attempt to accommodate those who need transportation the most. First priority will be given to students with disabilities and those that are homeless or unhoused students. The second priority is elementary and K-8 students in zoned neighborhoods. The final priority is middle and high school students in zoned neighborhoods.
Parents will have to register their children, since students will not be automatically selected based on their priority tier or need. Savannah-Chatham schools will reevaluate the transportation policy at the end of the fall semester and COVID safety protocols will remain in place when school begins.
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