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Baldwin City School District forced to stop bus services for 250 students

Posted at 5:28 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 06:41:46-04

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. -- The Baldwin City School District is having a hard time recruiting bus drivers, and because of the shortage, they are eliminating service to some students. 

"This is not something that we wanted to do, we just don’t have enough drivers to commit to all of this," said Baldwin City School Superintendent Paul Dorathy. 

There is a big need for school bus drivers. 

Job boards on Facebook tout lots of jobs posts for drivers. Some districts even putting signs on buses already on the road. 

"We are asking someone to drive safely on the roads and at the same time watch 50 to 60 kids over your shoulder and make sure they are behaving. It’s a tough job," said Dorathy. 

Because of the shortage of drivers, school district leaders decided to cut service to anyone living within 2.5 miles from their school. The decision will affect 250 students.

District parent Khat Hopkinson's daughter is among those affected.

"Kind of leaves some of us to make tough decisions as to what we are going to do," said Hopkinson. 

Hopkinson just moved from Olathe and her 6th grade daughter's school is nearly two miles away. 
"Hopefully they will have a before school program. My work is flexible so I may be able to go in later and end later. Or she will have to walk two miles (you will let her walk) who knows, we gotta make due." 

We checked with other bus companies in the metro to see if they are also struggling to find bus drivers. 

Durham is hired to run Blue Valley's bus service. The company says they are actively looking for drivers and they have 25 candidates going through the training process. 

First Student is also looking for drivers. 

Dorathy says canceling service is not ideal. He believes with an older generation retiring, there just isn't interest for a three-hour-a-day job. 

"We need teach aids, we need custodians, we need cooks, so potentially we might combine jobs so we can make them eight hours a day. That is the big thing, they say you want me to do this but you are only giving me three hours a day."

Kansas state law only requires bus service for 2.5 miles or further from a school. 

Those in Baldwin City looking for a job can click here.

Those in Blue Valley can apply in person at 7321 W. 135th Street, Overland Park, Kan.