By Merry Grace
It has been brought to light that MUSD has been having ongoing transportation issues, and it is my belief that we parents need to step up and start asking more questions. We are being told this is a result of a bus driver shortage.
We need to be asking, “Why is there a shortage?” Do these drivers that we trust to transport our children safely back and forth from/to school not have a voice and need some advocating? As the daughter of a retired public school custodian and retired public school cafeteria pastry chef, this concerns me that more parents are not asking why!
What can we do for these drivers? Why is there a shortage? Have there been unfilled opened positions since the beginning of the year, or is there a revolving door with drivers always quitting? If they are quitting – why are they quitting?
I know in our subdivision alone we have a lot of new homes going up, which means an increase in families moving in and an increase in enrollment. We now often see more students waiting at the bus stop as more families take residency in their new homes. Does the increase in riders mean there is a bus shortage? Will we have extra buses if needed to support this increase?
Why aren’t we hearing from the actual drivers to hear their story?
I hope to hear from drivers and the transportation department at the next few call to public times at the upcoming school board meetings. To only hear from the board that there is a shortage is not enough info. Parents who depend on the buses to safely transport their children need to be asking more questions. Drivers need to be able to speak up and have their voices heard so we can all work together to ensure their very important jobs are not only well compensated but they are shown their value to this community.
Merry Grace is a resident of Maricopa and mother of students in Maricopa Unified School District.