CONWAY, Ark. — A central Arkansas school district is finding itself in a bind when it comes to getting kids to and from school.
Now, they are pleading for drivers.
Ed Dow keeps the wheels turning on the Conway School District’s Transportation Department.
“We run about 85 routes daily,” Dow says.
Lately, he’s dropping the pen and picking up the keys.
“Sometimes it’s every day,” Dow says. “I drive. My assistant drives. A lot of my mechanics are on buses.”
He is having to hop in the driver’s seat because of a major issue that could impact your kids getting to school.
“We will not be in good shape,” says Dow. “We are losing quite a few this year and have lost some during the year. It’s just a never-ending battle.”
Here’s the thing, the need for bus drivers only continues to rise as those enrollment numbers go up.
“We grew by more than 100 students, so if you think about that, we put around 80 kids on a school bus,” says Heather Kendrick with the Conway School District. “So not all of those kids are going to ride a school bus, but a lot of them will. So our enrollment definitely affects school busses and our need for drivers.”
KARK reached out to six other districts in central Arkansas to see if they are struggling too.
Most of them echoed what Benton schools said, they have felt the struggle to hire quality drivers.
At the end of the day, Dow says his department’s request is simple.
“We will be hiring,” says Dow. “So, if anybody is interested, be sure to contact us.”
If you are interested, Dow encourages you to contact the district.