School board in need of bus drivers amid overcrowding concerns
LIVINGSTON – School officials are trying to fix a problem that's making some parents angry. This school year, buses have been overcrowded. They're often packed with students before and after school. Officials say higher enrollment rates are causing the jam-packed commutes, so more bus drivers are needed to fix it.
“We run about 600 routes a day, roughly 300 routes in the morning and 300 routes in the evening,” said LPPS assistant superintendent, Steve Parrill. “And with any workforce, people miss work.”
Some help is coming. Tuesday night, a classroom full of almost two dozen were learning how to safely drive a school bus. If all 20 get certified, Parrill says they'll have enough drivers to cover their routes. But that’s it. If someone calls in sick the buses will, again, be overcrowded.
“If we have a bus and we don't have a sub for it then at that point those children have to be divided up and put on other buses. Those buses will be crowded, and also it’s going to make the bus late because they're having to make more stops,” said Parrill.
Parrill says they'd like at least 40 more drivers to have a comfortable amount of subs for all the routes. When that will happen though, there is no telling.
“We've never reached that,” said Parrill. “I don't know if we can say we have a date for that goal. We're just trying hard.”
Those looking to become a bus driver for Livingston Parish Public Schools have to complete 40 hours of in-class training, and 20+ hours of shadowing a driver. The job is part-time with full benefits. The next classes available will be Nov. 4-19 at 5-9 p.m.