Gov. Hochul Aims to Increase School Bus Drivers, Who are in Short Supply for Yeshivas and Public Schools
New York state is committed to providing in-person learning this year, however, a school bus driver shortage has resulted in many yeshivas and public school districts without transportation for many children.
"Our schools and public health officials have moved mountains to ensure our children receive an in-person education this year, and we are leaving no stone unturned to make sure schools have adequate bus service to bring students to school and back," Gov. Hochul said. "I have directed state agencies to utilize creative approaches and use every tool at their disposal to help districts affected by the bus driver shortage, so we can bring in as many qualified bus drivers as possible, as quickly as possible."
Not only will Gov. Hochul ease licensing requirements of unemployed commercial driver's license (CDL) holders, but she has also promised signing bonuses and benefit expansions for school bus drivers.
Additionally, the New York Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), which has said it will be administering more CDL testing and training services, also has committed to speeding up the process for CDL licensing by eliminating the 14-day waiting period between permit tests and driving tests.
Gov. Hochul also soon plans to provide more CDL training opportunities and recruiting, while also trying to generate New Yorkers’ interest in the school bus driving profession.
"Like all school staff, bus drivers play an essential role in keeping our schools running and serving families across New York,” New York State United Teachers Union President Andy Pallotta said today, in response the governor’s plan. “Any steps the state can take to expedite the process for obtaining a commercial driver’s license are welcome: as are steps on the local level to provide hardworking, deserving drivers with the fair pay and benefits that reflect the critical importance of their work safely transporting students."
photo credit: Tomash Devenishek/Flickr (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic)