Bus driver shortage could spark change

A bus driver shortage in Lafayette Parish has some system officials asking board members to tweak what is required of applicants.

On average the Lafayette Parish School System has 30 substitute bus drivers on call, but with many full-timers retiring next year the parish is looking to hire before they run into a problem. But the posted job hasn't attracted drivers so some system officials are proposing a change in what is asked of applicants.

According to Billy Guidry, the Chief Financial Officer at the LPSS, they will ask the school board to suspend the requirement for a high school diploma. Guidry says the thought process behind that is to expand the number of people who will be eligible to apply for the job.

But some people worry this is a case of quantity over quality and could be a safety risk. But Guidry says this will not compromise safety. Guidry says that applicants will still be required to have a CDL license to operate a bus and will go through training that will entail safety.

If this proposed plan is approved by the school board next week, there would be a six month trial period to evaluate how successful it was. Anyone interested in applying for a bus driving position is encouraged to apply by either going to school board office or online.


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