Palmyra School District plans become school bus driver training site

Published: Sep. 26, 2022 at 9:25 PM CDT
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PALMYRA, Mo. (WGEM) - School districts everywhere are facing a lack of school bus drivers. If they are not facing the problem now, many are concerned they will be.

“We want to be proactive and put ourselves in a position where we can get additional drivers if needed,” said Palmyra R-1 School District Superintendent Jason Harper.

Harper said they are fully-staffed with drivers now, but they are concerned about the future.

Harper said all 10 of their routes are covered by drivers and they do have some subs, but they want more people to get interested in the job.

That’s why they are looking to become a school bus driver training facility.

“We are trying to put ourselves in a position where if someone wants to go and drive for us they won’t have to go outside of our district to go ahead and get the training, so they can go ahead and test,” Harper said.

The district has to develop a curriculum of at least 20 hours of training and drivers have to pass a test.

School Bus Mechanic David Meyers said there’s a lack of interest in the job.

“Well, it would be nice if there was a bunch of people in line to be bus drivers, but we don’t have anybody,” Meyers said. “In four years, we have probably had since I’ve been here we have probably had three people walk in here off the street.”

He said becoming a driver training facility might entice more people to work for the district as current school bus drivers need to get their training elsewhere.

“We want them to come here and get trained instead of going some place else and having to go through all the time of doing that, versus just coming right here and then we can try to keep them a lot easier,” Meyers said.

Harper said someone needs to become a certified trainer at the district. They have to create a bus driving course and they need all buses to pass inspections.

Harper expects the process to move forward next summer.

The district is looking for sub drivers this school year.

If you are interested, call the Central Office at (573)769-2066.

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