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Using Ohio National Guard to get children to schools amid bus driver shortage is possibility, governor says

Ohio National Guard.  (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
Ohio National Guard. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)(Amy Sancetta | ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 1:53 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - The governor said he has been in communication with leaders of the Ohio National Guard about the possibility of using members drive children to and from school amid the nationwide bus driver shortage.

“We have deployed the National Guard throughout this pandemic. They’ve done all kinds of things, give tests, give shots, work in food banks, so it’s certainly not out of consideration,” Gov. Mike DeWine said during a COVID-19 update on Tuesday.

The governor said Ohio National Guard General John Harris Jr. is in the process of putting a plan together for alternate school transportation that will be reviewed.

“This is clearly a real problem out there,” the governor added.

The driver shortage has impacted several students in Northeast Ohio this school year.

19 News affiliate WXIX in Cincinnati also recently reported on the bus driver shortage impacting some southwestern Ohio districts, even causing some schools to close temporarily.

The National School Transportation Association previously said coronavirus-related absences and vaccine hesitancy are factors that will make it difficult to provide bus driver service during the current school year.

More details about a potential plan could be released in the “next few days,” Gov. DeWine said.

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