Philadelphia schools are paying parents $300 a month to take their children to school, amid a chronic shortage of bus drivers
- More than 8,500 families have already joined the initiative
- This school year it is expected to cost about $31.2 million
- The school district currently has 100 bus driver positions open
Philadelphia education chiefs are paying parents $300 a month to take their children to school amid a crippling bus driver shortage.
More than 8,500 families have already joined the program, which is estimated to cost the school district about $31.2 million this school year alone.
The school district serves about 22,000 students and said forgoing busing is one way to alleviate enormous pressure on the network.
Currently, only half of the 200 bus driver positions normally advertised have been filled Wall Street Journal.
This has resulted in a strain on the system, leaving some parents struggling to get their children to class.
The School District of Philadelphia has filled only about 100 of the 200 bus driver positions it needs to run the school shuttle service
Among them is Berkley Collins, whose first-grade daughter had to miss several days of class due to transportation issues.
She had to wait two weeks before she was assigned a bus route that would take her daughter to school in 20 to 30 minutes.
The mortgage broker told the outlet that the situation left her in “panic.” She said the situation made her wonder if she should do that.choose my career over keeping my children in the school we can send them to for free with a higher quality education?’
Monique Braxton, spokeswoman for the school district, said, “If your child’s school is on your way to work, it’s a win-win.”
Philadelphia is not alone in its transportation problems; several cities in the US are facing similar problems.
In Chicago, families have been given free transit passes to take their children to school as the city struggles to fill the nearly 700 positions it needs to effectively transport its 300,000 students.
Meanwhile, Jefferson County Public Schools in Kentucky had a chaotic start to the first week of the semester, with kids not returning home until 10 p.m. due to staffing issues.