Parents in Framingham, Massachusetts, may have to pick up the slack as the district deals with a shortage of school bus drivers, ahead of class starting.
In the Framingham School Committee meeting on Wednesday night, it was very clear they’re just as frustrated as parents that they will be short 20 buses to start the school year.
Framingham needs 77 bus drivers, but NRT Bus only has 57 for the start of the year.
The district warned it does not currently have enough drivers to transport all its students to school.
The school committee discussed what was sent in a letter to parents earlier this month – that they can only guarantee busing for K-6 students who live more than two miles from the school.
They are working on routes now and say they will pick up other students starting with those who are the furthest away and working inward – but hundreds of kids will be left without a ride to school.
School Committee members say they’re especially frustrated, after coming to terms with the union on a new contract after last year’s strike, that NRT isn’t providing enough drivers to the district.
“It just feels like at every turn NRT is failing us, but we’re rewarding them with more money, and I don’t think that’s fair that they can’t even start this school year off with being accountable for their contract,” school committee member Jennifer Moshe said. “We’re already in breach and we haven’t even started the school year, and it is frustrating and it’s not fair to our students and it’s not fair to our families.”
“NRT Bus is successfully pursuing several recruitment efforts and has increased wages to hire more bus and van drivers to serve our communities despite the ongoing national driver shortage,” the company said in a statement to NBC10 Boston earlier this week.