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Shaker Heights school district has 25 bus drivers for this year, down by half since 2020

In 2020, the school district had 50 bus drivers to transport their students. Now that number stands at approximately 25.

SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — As school districts across Northeast Ohio prepare to host students for the upcoming school year, many face a shortage, either with lack of teachers or with lack of bus drivers.

The Shaker Heights City School District has approximately 25 bus drivers signed up for this school year. That number is down from last year, and remarkably lower than just two years ago. In 2020, the school district had 50 bus drivers to transport their students.

"I don't think we've ever experienced the kind of bus driver shortage that we're experiencing now," said Shaker Heights school superintendent David Glasner.

Glasner told 3News that competition has taken away some of their drivers. Companies like Amazon are taking away employees that used to drive school buses, according to Glasner. Other competition includes other school districts offering better compensation.

With just 10 days until school begins, the Shaker Heights City School District is working to modify their bus routes.

"We're looking at ways that we can just reduce the amount of transportation that we're providing so that we can provide transportation that allows our students to be where they need to be on time consistently," said Glasner.

The Shaker Heights City School District contracts with private transportation companies in times of need. However, they continue to look at modifying routes that require less drivers.

Glasner told 3News they'll continue to look for bus drivers before school begins.

In order to be a bus driver, you must obtain a Commercial Drivers License. Glasner told 3News that employees must be able to work well with children as well.

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