St. Cloud district faces school bus driver shortage

(AP) – The St. Cloud School District is dealing with a shortage of bus drivers with classes set to resume in just over a month.

Four independent school bus operators serve the district.

The district also owns a small fleet of buses.

The St. Cloud Times reports an estimated 40 drivers are still needed to transport more than 9,000 students to and from school each day.

Owner Troy Voigt of Voigt’s Bus Companies says, “It’s a crisis.”

Executive director Shelly Jonas of the Minnesota School Bus Operators Association says there is a shortage of drivers across all driving industries. Jonas thinks that’s because “there’s a lack of willing drivers.”

        Qualifications for drivers also have become stricter. Many operators feel that has increased safety but also discouraged many from applying.

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