Shortage of school bus drivers wreaks havoc in South Bend


By: Associated Press

(Photo supplied/Elkhart Truth)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana school district is battling a shortage of school bus drivers that has forced students to be more than an hour late arriving at school or getting home.

South Bend Community School Corp. spokeswoman Sue Coney says 22 of the district’s 200 bus routes lacked regular coverage in a recent week. She blames a high absenteeism rate and a shortage of substitute drivers.

Bus drivers tell the South Bend Tribune that low morale is largely to blame for the absenteeism.

Union president Debra Ward says drivers are frustrated by what they perceive as disrespect from management and a culture of favoritism.

The district is working to recruit new drivers, and Superintendent Carole Schmidt says she is aiming for significant improvements before school resumes in August.