Bus driver shortage ahead of Friday Night Football in Texas

NACOGDOCHES — East Texas towns come alive in the fall on Friday nights when fans dressed in school colors fill stadiums to cheer on their high school football team. Marching bands, cheerleaders and drill teams ignite the competitive spirit as decades-old rivalries begin.

So when a lack of bus drivers prevented Nacogdoches High School from transporting those groups of students to an away football game in Titus County this month, the town was disheartened.

“The atmosphere really isn’t the same without the band and drill team playing and making noise for the team,” said Adrian Belista, a Nacogdoches High junior and band drummer. “It was like a missing piece.”

Belista and his 205 bandmates ended up performing on a Friday night in mid-October at their home Dragon Stadium while the football team played its home game at Mount Pleasant — about a two-and-a-half-hour bus ride away — without the usual fandom or their pregame fight song .

Across the country, school districts are scrambling amid a national shortage of bus drivers. The issue is not new, school district officials said, but it has been exacerbated in recent months by the labor crisis, fueled by factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic, childcare challenges and slowing immigration.

In a February 2022 national survey by the American Public Transportation Association, 71% of transit agencies reported having to cut or delay service due to staff shortages.

The problem is exacerbated in sprawling rural areas like East Texas, where commutes are longer and labor is already in short supply.

“Part of the problem is that not only are we asking for help, but down the street Pilgrim’s Pride is looking for drivers at their processing facility, and Tyson [Foods] in Center is asking for help,” said Les Linebarger, a spokesman for the Nacogdoches School District, which drives around 40 daily bus lines. “We’re all competing for that same small labor pool.”

The district contacted multiple charter bus companies to help transport students to a recent football game, but all were fully booked.

Further north in Longview, the school district has filled vacant driver positions in recent weeks. But without backup or substitute drivers, the district still runs into problems whenever a driver calls in sick. When that happened in late October, the district combined the two bus lines, putting more kids than usual on one yellow bus.

Wayne Guidry, who serves as superintendent of business, transportation and technology, was not surprised when a fight broke out between students on the bus that day.

“Ninety-eight percent of our problems come from kids having to be on buses,” Guidry said. “That’s when all these incidents happen.”

Districts have tried to deal with the driver shortage by raising bus driver wages and holding job fairs.

In Tyler, the school district’s communications team ran a targeted recruiting campaign last year, posting slogans like “No CDL? No problem. Get Hired. Get dressed.” on the side of the bus.

The Tyler School District also pays for the training that drivers must complete before taking the commercial driver’s license test. Prospective employees are hired as apprentice bus drivers at $12 an hour and receive a commercial learner’s permit while taking self-paced classes. The class usually takes about two to three weeks to complete, according to district spokeswoman Jennifer Hines. She said the program has helped the district with 154 daily routes, but they are still short eight drivers. Some district leaders said the new federal training requirements for bus drivers are excessive and make it harder to hire new workers.

The US Department of Transportation sets basic training requirements for entry-level drivers. A new training requirement was introduced in February, requiring drivers to take classes before taking the CDL license test. Those classes must be taken through an entity approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and can take two to three weeks and cost hundreds of dollars.

“It’s kind of a double-edged sword,” Linebarger said. “Of course we want properly trained drivers and we want safe drivers, but on the other hand, if it’s harder to get a license, that’s going to affect your numbers.”

What age can a child be left alone in PA?

Many people look to the law for help in making this decision, but in Pennsylvania there is no “legal age” when a child can or should be left alone. To see also : Swimsuit calendar release coming this week. It is up to the parents to assess their child and life situation and decide what is best for their family.

Can I leave my 7 year old home alone for 15 minutes? In general, it is not a good idea to leave children under 10 home alone. Every child is different, but at that age most children do not have the maturity and skills to respond to an emergency if they are alone.

Can I leave my home of 10 years alone? babies, toddlers and very young children should never be left alone. children under the age of 12 are rarely mature enough to handle emergencies and should not be left home alone for extended periods of time. children under the age of 16 should not be left alone overnight.

At what age can you leave your child home alone in Pennsylvania? In PA, there is no set minimum age for leaving a children’s home without supervision. Different organizations, such as the nationwide “SAFEKIDS” campaign, give recommended ages that usually range between ten and twelve years.

How long can a 12 year old stay home alone in Pennsylvania?

There is no age limit in Pennsylvania that allows a child to be legally left home alone. However, if a parent chooses to leave a child at home alone, that child is still the parent’s responsibility. This may interest you : There Are Strict Rules For NFL Cheerleaders. The Players? Not So Much. So, if something happens to the child, the parents can be charged with neglect.

How long can you leave a 12 year old home alone? 8 to 10 years – He should not be left alone for more than 1½ hours and only during the day and early evening hours. 11 to 12 years – May be left alone for up to 3 hours, but not late at night or in circumstances requiring undue responsibility. 13 to 15 years – can be left unattended, but not overnight.

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Can truckers bring their kids?

Yes. Drivers can get a free passenger permit that allows family members to drive. To see also : Players arrive for 2022 AT&T training camp. Drivers can contact their fleet manager for a passenger permit.

What disqualifies you from being a truck driver? The types of crimes that usually automatically bar you from earning your CDL include: Using a commercial vehicle in the commission of a crime. Manslaughter in the first or second degree by motor vehicle. Improper handling of a motor vehicle.

Can the truck driver bring someone with him? There are currently no federal restrictions on passengers riding in commercial motor vehicles, but most companies have guidelines about who can ride with you and when. If you just got your commercial driver’s license and are interviewing for a new job, ask companies what their driver policies are.

Can Truck drivers bring their girlfriends?

That’s right: many truckers bring along spouses or significant others to share the experience and the drive. More miles can be driven if one person is asleep while the other is behind the wheel, which means more jobs can be taken on and money can be made.

Can you bring your wife with you as a trucker? Not every job allows you to take your spouse to the office every day. But trucking does, and if both spouses get their commercial driver’s licenses (CDLs), then they can form an ideally compatible driving team.

Can you bring people with you as a trucker? Do the transport companies allow passengers? The answer is that individual motor carriers may allow passengers based on corporate rules, but according to USDOT, all passengers must have written authorization from the motor carrier to be legally on board during transit.

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