To account for growth in the district, Celina ISD officials increased bus drivers’ pay and approved purchasing more school buses.

The gist

A review by the Texas Association of School Business Officials found the district’s transportation department needed to increase its number of drivers and raise its compensation for drivers, said Jason Johnston, CISD’s senior chief of academics and employee services, during a Sept. 18 board meeting.

To be competitive with surrounding districts, the starting pay for drivers is $23 per hour, up from the district’s previous rate of $21 per hour, according to district documents.

“The pay increase, we anticipate, will help [ensure] we aren’t losing bus drivers to other districts,” Superintendent Thomas Maglisceau said. “We’re always having to compete.”

Based on increased ridership in the 2023-24 school year and input from the TASBO, the district needs to buy more buses to handle its future needs, according to district documents.

The board of trustees approved using $2.22 million to purchase 12 regular-route buses and five special education buses.

Along with increasing ridership, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services John Mathews said the district needed to purchase the buses now as it will take up to two years to receive the new vehicles. By then, he said the district will need additional buses and routes.

The bus expenses will be covered by 2019 bond funds.

Also on the agenda

CISD bus drivers will be able to train and test through Anna ISD for a commercial driver’s license, per an agreement by the board.

The Department of Public Safety is overwhelmed with the number of requests for testing, creating a waitlist of two to three months, according to district documents. To combat this, the DPS approved public entities to handle the training and testing required for the licenses.