Staffing issue forces mechanics to drive San Marcos CISD buses

SAN MARCOS, Texas (KXAN) — The San Marcos Consolidated Independent School District is short seven bus drivers, causing staff members in the transportation department to step up and fill two positions to make sure students get to where they need to go.

The Director of Transportation, Carter Hutson, says they were down 18 bus drivers at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year; but even though the district has filled 11 positions, the current vacancies are still stretching the current workforce. Hutson says all staff members, including their mechanics, have stepped in to not only drive students in the morning and afternoon, but also fulfill their main job—some employees have also come in on weekends to finish their original work.

“If we get nine drivers or more short than all the staff members including myself, have to drive,” Hutson says.

The starting pay for non-experienced drivers is $14 an hour; Hutson says the district has struggled to get and keep workers because they do not guarantee more than 30 hours. The districts that offer more hours, usually end up with the more qualified drivers.

“Most people want to have a 40 hour work week,” Hutson explains.

The school district is holding a job fair to hopefully recruit more drivers on Feb. 10. Hutson encourages anyone interested to know that the job they are applying for can make a huge impact on the next generation.

“These kids always remember who their bus driver was. These drivers end up becoming counselors and help kids get through the day. Our drivers are the first ones that see these kids every morning and are the last ones to say goodbye to them. So, how they conduct themselves on the bus, with a smile or what have you, can have a huge impact on a kids day,” Hutson shares.

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