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Fayette Co. educator learns to drive school bus to help with shortage

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Posted at 5:06 PM, Oct 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-18 19:11:59-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Once you get the hang of it, driving a school bus is a breeze, according to trainer Darnell Dialls.

But until you get to that point, it takes a lot of practice.

That's why Rise STEM Academy for Girls STEM Curriculum Director, Dr. Craig Schroeder, is out training with Dialls about three times a week.

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Schroeder is working on getting his CDL license, which is required to drive a school bus.

"I feel more comfortable than I did a couple of weeks ago," Schroeder said Monday as he was out on the course training.

He said he decided to get behind the wheel when about 50% of buses to his school were being canceled every day due to the driver shortage.

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"A large amount of our scholars couldn't come in the school, and obviously, if they're not there, that's a problem," he said.

Learning to drive a bus himself was his solution.

And he wasn't the only one with the idea.

According to the Fayette County School District, 14 district employees outside the transportation department can drive a bus, including two principals.

"I think it's wonderful that they're willing to step up," Diall said.

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Diall applauds the educators trying to bridge the gap, and he also encourages others to apply.

"This is about the easiest job you'll ever have," he said to explain why the job is an attractive choice for many.

He also said the hours are great, drivers get full benefits, and the pay is "pretty decent" at $18.12 an hour to start. The District said all drivers were also given a $1 increase per hour this year.

For information or to apply, click here.