This Delaware charter school will pay parents $700 this year for every child they drive themselves, as a bus driver shortage forces some schools to delay opening

Bus driver
Pittsburgh district officials said they are short about 6,000 bus seats for students heading to school this year. Steve Ruark/AP
  • A Delaware Charter School is offering parents $700 per child to drive their own kids, WP reported.
  • The incentive is one way school systems are adjusting to a shortage in bus drivers.
  • Pittsburgh Public Schools plans to delay school by two weeks due to the shortage, causing protests.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

School systems across the nation are facing a shortage of bus drivers, the Washington Post reported on Monday. With the end of summer quickly approaching, some schools have been forced to push back start dates while they search for new hires.

EastSide Charter School in Delaware is offering parents financial incentives to drive their own children to and from school.

“EastSide wants to pay you $700 for the year for dropping off and picking up each child from school (example – if you have 3 children we would give you $2,100),” the school website says. “Delaware is currently facing a bus driver shortage. We believe that empowering parents is the best solution.”

Pittsburgh Public Schools plans to delay school openings by two weeks due to transportation issues caused by the shortage. The announcement caused approximately 70 parents and students to protest outside of the school’s administration building last week, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.

District officials said they are short about 6,000 bus seats for students heading to school this year.

“These are some difficult decisions we are going through right now based on our current state and the current context we’re in right now,” Superintendent Anthony Hamlet said during a virtual news conference. “It’s not ideal times. We’re trying to make sure that we get as many students into school as we can.”

Schools in North Carolina’s Chapel Hill – Carborro districts are offering bus drivers a $2,000 bonus in an effort to fill around 30 driver positions, per CBS17. The school board said it is likely that all 30 spots won’t be filled in time for the start of school.

At the same time, many school districts are struggling to hire enough teachers, Insider’s Madison Hoff reported. In a survey by Frontline Education, two-thirds of about 1,200 school and district leaders reported a teacher shortage, with particular hiring needs around special education and substitute teachers.

According to a survey of 2,690 members of the National Education Association in May, 32% said the “pandemic has led them to plan to leave the profession earlier than they anticipated,” NEA Today’s Tim Walker wrote.