Phoenix

Dysart Unified School District set to be fully staffed with bus drivers as districts around Arizona struggle to hire

Dysart Unified School District permitted a $20 an hour beginning wage for bus drivers a couple of weeks in the past.

PHOENIX — School districts throughout Arizona are nonetheless struggling to fill bus driver positions, together with a number of districts within the Valley which can be brief dozens of drivers.

However, the Dysart Unified School District, which just lately raised their beginning wage for bus drivers to $20 an hour, stated they’ll be fully staffed in a couple of weeks.

The ‘first time’ being fully staffed

Throughout 20 years within the business of driving youngsters to faculty Doug Curry, Director of Transportation for Dysart Unified School District, stated he’s going to have all 20 open bus driver positions crammed, with 5 on reserve by the top of November.

“This would be the first time to be fully staffed,” Curry stated.

About three weeks in the past, the district’s governing board permitted a $20 an hour beginning wage.

“That’s what brought them,” Curry stated. “Before we were getting one or two applicants a week. We’ve gotten 50.”

Districts nonetheless looking 

Districts around the Valley, together with neighboring Peoria Unified School District are struggling to get the bus drivers they want to get college students to faculty.

Peoria Unified stated they’re presently brief 20 bus drivers. On Thursday, the governing board will think about elevating their wage about $3 an hour.

Currently, a job opening on the district’s web site stated they pay about $13.60.

“Dysart kind of took it to another level,” Scott Thompson, Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for Mesa Public Schools stated.

Mesa Public Schools is the biggest district in Arizona. Thompson stated he’s brief about 60 bus drivers, to be fully staffed he’d want nearly 400 bus drivers.

“We’re covering more routes than ever and we’re really struggling to make the system work the way it should on a daily basis,” Thompson stated.

Thompson stated pay is about $16 to $17 an hour in Mesa. Thompson stated although there are different incentives that come with the job, together with working 40 hours every week, getting advantages, it’s a year-round job, and Mesa has been buying new busses too.

“We got to get more drivers hired and trained up,” Thompson stated. “We’re simply attempting to determine how to try this.

Is money the answer? 

Mark Joraanstad is the Executive Director of the Arizona School Administrators Association, a nonprofit together with greater than 1,400 faculty leaders around Arizona.

Joraanstad stated they plan on asking Governor Doug Ducey for assist in discovering options.

“Money isn’t necessarily the case with this,” Joraanstad stated. “It’s getting more personnel who want to continue to do this job.”

Curry stated although it was money that made the distinction for Dysart.

“Our goal was first to the finish line and I think we did it,” Curry stated.

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