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Copley-Fairlawn City Schools desperate for bus drivers

The district has been forced to cancel some extra-curricular activities
Published: Sep. 30, 2021 at 9:05 AM EDT|Updated: Oct. 1, 2021 at 7:04 PM EDT
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COPLEY, Ohio (WOIO) - Copley-Fairlawn City Schools is the latest district to be hit by a bus driver shortage impacting schools across America.

In a Facebook post shared Wednesday, the district said they are “desperately seeking bus drivers and substitute bus drivers.”

“If we are unable to identify new bus drivers we anticipate that our ability to transport our students to and from school on a daily basis will become more difficult,” the district wrote in the post.

Steve Robinson, a business manager with the school district, said the lack of bus drivers forced Copley-Fairlawn City Schools to combine bus routes.

“We end up getting a lot of students on buses when we would prefer to be able to have fewer students to be able to spread them out,” Robinson told 19 News.

He also said the district has been forced to cancel some extra-curricular activities, particularly a few sporting competitions, because there aren’t enough drivers to transport the student athletes to away games.

It’s possible additional extra-curricular activities could be canceled if the shortage continues.

“It’s caused us to cancel or forfeit some of our contests,” Robinson said.

As 19 News previously reported, other communities in Northeast Ohio, including Euclid and Painesville, also feeling the pain that comes with this lack of labor.

Earlier this week, Barberton City Schools had to temporarily suspend some its bus routes.

Last week, 19 News’ Kristin Mazur spoke with Governor DeWine about this bus driver shortage that’s hurting so many school districts across the state.

The governor said he’s currently working with the state attorney general to make background checks for school bus drivers a priority.

But, Robinson said there is a bigger problem than slow background checks, in Copley at least.

“Drivers are required to complete 15 hours of classroom training. Right now, I have one driver who I cannot get him into a class until sometime in late November. Virtual class was offered, but I believe in April that was done away with. So, that’s a bottleneck I think needs to be addressed.”

Those interested in a bus driver position at Copley-Fairlawn City Schools should contact Mary Sharnsky at (330) 664-4820.

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