LAUDERDALE CO., Miss. (WTOK) - There is a shortage of bus drivers across Mississippi and it’s impacting school districts in our area.
“You can go down different roads throughout the state and there will be a bus parked with a sign on it asking for drivers and everything,” says Larry Vick, the transportation director for the Lauderdale County School District. “So it’s not something that’s just exclusive to Lauderdale County, there is a shortage of bus drivers in the state.”
Kim Carmichael is the secretary at Southeast Middle School, and is also a school bus driver. She says being a bus driver is a rewarding experience.
“I like getting to know the kids and talking to them and just letting them know that there’s somebody here that really appreciates them and loves them and cares about them,” Carmichael says.
Carmichael encourages people to apply for bus driver positions.
“We really do need some more bus drivers,” Carmichael says. “One thing is the pay is pretty good. Of course that shouldn’t be your only reason, but also just so that you can have a chance to get to know the children in our area and be an important part of the community.”
To become a bus driver you need at least a Class B Commercial Driver’s License with air brakes and P and S (Passenger and School bus) endorsement.
“You have to go and you take those tests, and if you pass it they give you a permit and then you have to wait like 14 days after you get your permit before you can actually go through and take the driving test and name the parts of the buses and all,” Vick says.
A representative from the State Department of Education will take part in the training process and also administer the test.
If you would like to apply for a bus driver position with the Lauderdale County School District or learn more about it, you may call 601-485-8860.