LPSS hoping to attract and retain school bus drivers

LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) – After much discussion, the Lafayette parish school board made a few decisions that they hope will attract more people to drive school buses.

The current salary for a Lafayette Parish school bus driver is about $15,500. With the $2,500 increase for full-time drivers would put that salary closer to $18,000.

Applause filled the room once the board finally approved a salary increase for full-time bus drivers.

30 year LPSS bus driver, Gizelle Schexnayder says, “We hadn’t gotten a raise in 14 years. So, a $2500 (raise) is long overdue but appreciated.”

As the board aims to retain and attract drivers, an internship position was created to get future drivers acclimated to the system.

During the 70 day program, the interns will also act as bus attendants.

School board member, Mary Morrison says, “Every bit of what we’re doing today for the school bus drivers, they deserve it. I don’t think people realize the responsibility that a school bus driver has.”

Current drivers say these new incentives are great, but where the board really needs to step up is in the area of discipline for misbehaving children.

“The matrix is not working. You have to have three minor infractions before you have a major infraction. So, the child is missed behaving for four days on the bus while you’re trying to drive and you bring them to the office and they get a 15-minute recess detention; that happened today” explains Schexnayder.

School board officials tell us that drivers can expect to see that increase on the next pay cycle. The money for the pay raise is because of an increase in sales tax revenue.

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