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One month into the fall semester, many Central Texas school districts are still struggling to find enough bus drivers to cover their routes, despite beefed-up recruiting efforts and increased pay. District officials say the driver shortage is due to several factors, including the rising cost of living in the area making the job less attractive, and competition from other school districts and private delivery companies. They say they are trying to make themselves more competitive by increasing drivers' pay and providing incentives such as bonuses and extra hours. Officials with the Eanes, Hays, Huttoand Georgetown school districts said they have enough bus drivers to maintain all of their routes. But at least two area districts have canceled some of their routes, forcing parents to find other ways to get their children to and from campuses, and others are turning to school staff members to fill in as drivers. view article arw

According to district officials, if voters pass the proposed school bond in November, 173 school buses will be replaced.  AUSTIN, Texas — It has been a hot start to the school year for Austin ISD students. Approximately 8,000 AISD students board school buses with no air conditioning.  According to district officials, if voters pass the proposed school bond in the upcoming November election, 173 school buses will be replaced.  Kris Hafezizadeh, AISD's executive director of transportation, said riding a bus with no air conditioning can be uncomfortable.  view article arw

BUNA — The Texas Department of Public Safety has arrested a teenage driver who crashed into a Buna ISD bus and ran from the scene, seriously injuring his passenger but causing no injuries to the students and school bus driver, according to information DPS Lt. Chuck Havard provided to KFDM/Fox 4 News. Lt. Havard says there were four Buna ISD students on the school bus at about 6:35 a.m. Wednesday, when the bus driver activated the yellow emergency lights and began to slow down in the outside lane of Highway 96, about three miles south of Buna, to pick up a student. The driver of a GMC Yukon SUV was behind the bus and failed to control his speed, striking the rear of the school bus. The SUV driver ran away but was caught at about 9 a.m. in an abandoned shed, about 200 yards from the crash site. Lt. Havard says Dalton Blankenship, 18, of Buna, was arrested and taken to the Jasper County Jail on a felony charge of Failure to Stop and Render Aid Causing Serious Bodily Injury. view article arw

FORT WORTH, Texas — Isabel Arreola is a concerned parent who wants to know how Fort Worth ISD is going to make sure her 9-year-old daughter arrives at the right bus stop. Arreola's concerns come after a school bus driver dropped them off blocks away from their assigned bus stop. One of the students on the bus shared cell phone video with Arreola showing the chaos on the bus. "You hear these kids just screaming at you. It's total chaos on this bus," said Arreola. Because you can hear the children yelling and crying about being forced to exit the school bus, Arreola gets emotional just watching the video. view article arw

Last month, Dallas experienced what was described as a once-in-a-thousand-year flood. Thunderstorms hit the Dallas-Fort Worth area starting Aug. 21. Over a 24-hour period, 8 to 12 inches of rain fell. Flooded streets submerged vehicles and cause upwards of $6 billion in damage. However, one positive story developed from the quick action taken by two Dallas Independent School District employees to help save two siblings from rushing water. School bus driver Simone Edmond and bus monitor Tekendria Valentine had just completed their daily special needs route when dispatch requested assistance in picking up additional children who needed transportation. However, when the bus arrived, Edmond told School Transportation News that the children were not present. Thinking they must have returned home because of the rain, she started heading back to the bus garage. view article arw

Fort Worth school district transportation staff sent out apologies to parents after video captured a driver forcing children to get off the bus at the wrong stop, KTVT-TV reported. Students from Daggett Elementary were dropped off nearly half a mile away from their homes on the city’s south side Friday, on the other side of busy Hemphill Street, the station reported. Jeff Williams, one of the parents, told the Star-Telegram in a social media message that his 8- and 9-year-old daughters were crying on the side of the road in the wrong neighborhood after they were forced off the bus by a driver. Another parent saw them and gave them a ride home. Read more at: https://www.star-telegram.com/news/local/education/article266096676.html#storylink=cpy view article arw

Del Valle's school board approved a list of so-called "hazardous routes" so they can get more funding to bus students to school. view article arw

The bus stop for Marshall ISD students at Belaire Manor Apartments has changed as of Thursday, the district announced. Pick-up and drop-off will take place at the Bishop Street gate because of construction, the district said. “The buses can not get through the bridge area on West Rusk,” the district said in a note to parents. “It is too narrow for buses to pass through safely. We will return to normal drop-off and pick-up when the construction has been completed and cleared.” view article arw

ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – An Abilene ISD school bus hit a cow while on the way home from a football game earlier this week. The crash happened while the Craig Middle School 7th Grade football team was on their way home from a game in San Angelo Monday evening.  Students and staff were not injured when the bus hit the cow. The driver was able to maintain control and another AISD school bus came and picked the team up to take them back to Abilene.  “We are thankful for the vigilance of our staff members and the police officers who responded to help ensure the safety of our students,” AISD officials explain.  No further information has been released. view article arw

Hundreds of parents poured into Prosper Independent School District's administrative building Tuesday to speak to board members about an allegedly abusive school bus driver from the past. Earlier in August, attorney Levi McCathern and fellow attorney Kristin Hecker allege that two young girls, 5 and 7 years old, endured "over 100 instances of abuse" and that "Prosper ISD was willfully indifferent in recognizing, preventing, interceding, and responding to any suspicion of—let alone actual instances of—sexual misconduct involving its administrators and students." view article arw

Fort Bend ISD has been recognized with an excellence award due to a system it uses to track and evaluate bus incidents and accidents.  FBISD was named a 2022 Excellence Award Winner by the Texas Association of School Boards for its use of an Incident Review Board that allows the transportation leadership team to track and evaluate bus incidents and accidents, according to a Sept. 9 news release. The board monitors accident trends, identifies and eliminates unsafe conditions, evaluates the district’s response to accidents and ensures employee training addresses root accident causes. FBISD provided vehicle collision investigation training to directors, assistant directors and other leaders who respond to accidents, according to the news release.  The district was named to the award by the TASB, which annually honors education entities that develop innovative and effective solutions to risk management challenges. view article arw

PROSPER, Texas — Hundreds of parents poured into Prosper Independent School District's administrative building Tuesday to speak to board members about an allegedly abusive school bus driver from the past. Earlier in August, attorney Levi McCathern and fellow attorney Kristin Hecker allege that two young girls, 5 and 7 years old, endured "over 100 instances of abuse" and that "Prosper ISD was willfully indifferent in recognizing, preventing, interceding, and responding to any suspicion of—let alone actual instances of—sexual misconduct involving its administrators and students."    (14) view article arw

Comal ISD students and parents could see some transportation relief later this year as the district is expected to bring six more bus drivers onboard. After allotting new drivers to replace those who don’t drive the entire year, the district will evaluate the driver situation come October to establish if routes can be condensed or added. Meanwhile the district seeks to hire new drivers to mitigate the shortage affecting school districts across the country, and some a little closer to home such as Garland ISD in North Texas, Lake Travis ISD, which also cut bus routes, and other San Antonio-area districts. view article arw

Cy-Fair ISD Transportation Director Kayne Smith said the district has implemented changes for the 2022-23 school year to help the department accommodate the ongoing staffing shortage and ensure efficiency in busing students. At the Sept. 1 meeting of the Cy-Fair Houston Chamber of Commerce's transportation and governmental affairs committee, Smith explained that his bus drivers had to cover more routes than usual and fill in when others were unavailable. view article arw

Bryan ISD leaders met Tuesday to update board trustees on pending and in-progress bond projects and to review zoning maps for its new maintenance and transportation complex. Bryan ISD has faced some challenges while trying to get the recently purchased property located on FM 2818 and Leonard Road zoned for the new facility. Bryan ISD leaders went before the City of Bryan’s Planning and Zoning Commission in early august to submit zoning maps recommended for approval by the City of Bryan’s Planning& Development team. During that meeting, the commission rejected the plan and made suggestions for Bryan ISD to make before resubmitting. view article arw

LEANDER, Texas (KXAN) — A crash involving a Leander Independent School District bus and a FedEx delivery vehicle closed an intersection on 183A Tuesday afternoon. The scene is now clear. The wreck happened around 11 a.m. on the northbound side of the 183A toll road at San Gabriel Parkway, according to the Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority. The crash initially closed the intersection, but a more recent Twitter post indicated traffic is once again moving through the area. A driver, bus monitor and student were on the bus for regular transportation at the time of the crash, according to spokesperson Rachel Acosta with Leander ISD. Paramedics took all three to a hospital. The age of the student is unknown at this time. view article arw

CASTROVILLE, Texas — Growing enrollment compounded with an ongoing bus driver shortage has prompted the Medina Valley Independent School District to launch a monetary incentive plan for future hires and current staff behind the wheel.  The Medina Valley ISD Board of Trustees convened Friday morning for a special meeting, in which district officials laid out the monetary incentive plan with hopes to hire, train and retain school bus drivers. view article arw

Gatesville ISD recently announced the arrival of a new app called Parent View. The app allows parents to see when their child scans on or off the bus, the current bus location, and enables parents to set alerts to notify them when the bus is close to their house. The app will also allow GISD to communicate directly with parents by individual bus, instead of having to send out mass messages every time. view article arw

Copperas Cove ISD Transportation Department Shop Foreman Kai Thornton never knows what will happen in his day at work. But that is what makes him love his job the most.  “Being able to transport students, I can start the day off positive for that child and keep that positivity going throughout the day,” Thornton said. “A lot of it is patience. There are a lot of different personalities on a school bus. Some tend to be very vocal and very out there. Some are quiet. Some you have to recognize how to approach. So, it’s kind of a balancing game as far as what you are dealing with. So, you have to have a good mindset.” view article arw

Houston ISD has not reported bus accident numbers for four of the last five years, even though it's legally required to do so, according to data from the Bus Accident Reporting System collected by the Texas Education Agency. The one reported year showed only 17 accidents. But a Houston Chronicle analysis of another dataset, one that tracks all motor vehicle accidents around the state and is filled out by law enforcement, found that there have been more than 500 school bus accidents within the HISD boundaries in the past five years. view article arw

DALLAS - A Dallas ISD bus driver and bus monitor helped save two children who were caught up and nearly swept away by flooding. They said they normally wouldn't have taken the route they took that day, adding that it must have been divine intervention. Tekendria Valentine, the bus monitor, shot the incredible video of the rescue. They tied seatbelts together to save the kids, who were hanging on to trees during the flooding in southeast Dallas County. view article arw

San Angelo ISD will begin its after-school bus transportation for high school students on Tuesday, Sept. 6 after the Labor Day holiday, according to a news release from the school district. The announcement comes three weeks after SAISD stated it was "experiencing an unprecedented bus driver shortage and increased student ridership." The school district said it would continue to release updates as it worked to resolve the shortage. view article arw

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Department of Public Safety is making it easier to obtain a Class B Commercial Drivers License. This comes amid a push to hire more school bus drivers. SAISD increased wages for school bus drivers from $15 to $20/hour last week in hopes of diminishing the driver deficit. This is proving to be successful as the school district is seeing more interested applicants. However, the process for obtaining the Class B Commercial Drivers License (CDL) is long and can be strenuous. Sergeant Justin Baker with the department of Public Safety says in order to get your license, it requires 5 separate tests. “For a school bus, you’re going to have three different tests. Special Requirements, General Knowledge, and Air Brakes. As well, you’re gonna have to have two endorsement tests, which are Passenger Endorsement and School Bus Endorsement.” view article arw

Ninety-five percent of school systems receive high performing ratings, 45% all “A  ”EDINBURG – The Region One Education Service Center (ESC) recently congratulated the school systems it serves for outperforming their state peers in the 2021-2022 Texas Education Agency (TEA) Accountability Ratings. Plaques commemorating this success were presented to Superintendents on Aug. 18 after the annual Public Hearing Report was presented, which highlighted this work. read more arw

The bus driver shortage for Dripping Springs ISD is at an all-time high, and families are beginning to bear the brunt of the shortage. “We just didn’t realize how bad this was going to be until we got closer to the start of the school year,” DSISD Communication Specialist Blake Barington said. DSISD needs 12 bus drivers and four bus monitors to help cover all its routes, he said. view article arw

Some Comal ISD (CISD) parents were left looking for other options to get their kids to and from school this year. The district decided to create "no service zones" for each individual campus, limiting where buses stop for school pick up and drop off. This comes after CISD could not fill more than 20 positions over the summer. view article arw

During Monday’s unexpected flooding, Dallas ISD school bus driver Simone Edmond and bus monitor Tekendria Valentine had to think quickly to rescue two siblings from rushing water. After they finished their usual route, dispatch called on the duo to assist with picking up another group of children who needed transportation. When they arrived, they found that the students had gone back home, so Edmond headed back to the bus lot. But because of flooded roads, she decided to take an alternate route. view article arw

Districts like Canyon Independent School District are currently lacking school bus drivers, leaving multiple bus routes uncovered by full time drivers. Canyon ISD is needing 11 full time drivers minimum to cover all 46 routes, but the district is looking to hire around 16 drivers to cover busier days and sick days. The district is currently hiring for CDL drivers but the license is not required to apply. view article arw

The Nacogdoches Independent School District board of trustees approved have approved a 19-percent raise for district bus drivers. Chief Marketing and Communications Officer Les Linebarger says that this raise makes the district COMPETITIVE. “We raised the minimum rate from $13.40 an hour to $16 an hour and we did that across the board, you know there’s a minimum, midpoint and maximum rate and it’s all roughly a 19 percent increase for our drivers,” Linebarger said. view article arw

A Chapel Hill ISD school bus was involved in a multi-vehicle crash this morning. The crash occurred around 6:45 a.m. on Highway 64 East, involving four vehicles, according to Smith County Constable Pct. 4 Josh Joplin. Joplin said there were minor injuries, but no students were hurt in the crash. view article arw

A Bullard ISD bus has been involved in a wreck after school on Tuesday but nobody aboard the bus is reportedly injured. Bullard ISD spokeswoman Amy Pawlak said six children and two aides were on the bus. The wreck occurred at the intersection of County Road 181 and FM 344 view article arw

FORT BEND COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Angry, concerned, and confused, a group of Fort Bend ISD parents said the school district is putting their children in harm's way after abruptly removing their bus service. "(I'm in) complete shock," parent Charlie Chen said. "I could not imagine why there would not be a school bus available given how much traffic there is on University Boulevard. It's like a highway." Chen and a small group of parents met outside their subdivision, Avalon at Riverstone, off University Boulevard near Sugar Land. view article arw

Conroe ISD parents are raising concerns about the district’s bus policies. The outcry follows reports of four children who have been dropped off at the wrong bus stop within a week. Three of the children are elementary school age. The fourth is an intermediate school student. The district says it’s taking measures to ensure this doesn't happen again. view article arw

Lake Travis ISD parents are urging the school district to take more steps to address the ongoing bus driver shortage that prompted the district to significantly reduce transportation services. Several parents raised concerns at a school board meeting on Wednesday, a day after the new school year started. One parent told the Lake Travis ISD Board of Trustees he spent more than an hour in traffic driving his kid to school and offered to sit down with district officials to come up with solutions. view article arw

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The life of a bus driver in SAISD may get a little bit easier. The San Angelo ISD Board of Trustees voted to increase the starting wage of bus drivers from $15 to $20 per hour during their Regular Board Meeting on Monday, August 15. The 7-0 vote comes amidst a shortage of drivers within SAISD that has forced the district to announce that no buses will run for the high schools during at least the first two weeks of the school year. On top of the rate increase, new bus drivers are also eligible for a one-time, new employee hiring incentive of $500 to be paid in two equal installments of $250. view article arw