BIG SPRING, Texas (KMID/KPEJ) – Big Spring ISD’s school bus driver shortage isn’t a new problem, but the district hopes an aggressive, new advertising campaign can help solve it.

“We have gone full bore with this new incentive plan. One of our local radio stations KBST, they’re running ads for us almost daily. We’re doing everything we can do to fill those spots and to take care of our kids on the bus routes,” said Big Spring ISD Superintendent Jay McWilliams.

Big Spring ISD has 17 school bus routes but only 15 of them are currently filled. That means the remaining 2 have to be filled by volunteers. And when they’re not available, parents are notified of school bus cancellations.

“There have been parents that were a little upset, and I get it. I fully understand. If my child was riding the bus and I was at work and having to make arrangements to go pick them up when I thought the bus might be, that would be upsetting, and we understand that,” said Superintendent McWilliams.

Superintendent McWilliams also says that school bus driver shortages are problems for school districts across the Lone Star State, and points to two main culprits behind the issue.

“We’ve had some people that retired and no longer drive, and there’s just a shortage of people that actually have a commercial driver’s license, or that have tried to obtain a CDL and can pass all the requirements. The state has made it much harder to get a CDL,” said Superintendent McWilliams.

If you are interested in driving a school bus for Big Spring ISD, click here to learn more.