The Lamar CISD board heard a recap of the challenges facing the district since the new school year began in August, including ongoing issues with school bus transportation efficiency.

What’s happening?

The causes for recent delays in student drop-offs and pickup times were explained by district transportation department officials as follows:
  • Glitches in the logistic system software used by the district unexpectedly began deleting or confusing student ZIP codes within the uploaded district records.
  • The district, as well as other local districts, face a nationwide bus driver shortage.
  • Texas Department of Transportation’s delays in the permitting of new hires for the district are exacerbating the shortage.
The details

Data compiled by the district included information on the number of tardiness instances of buses since the school year began by date and route, and the data shows the following:
  • Since Aug. 23, the number of total buses considered to be late dropped to 11 from 80 on Aug. 14.
  • The TxDOT delays in licensing and training new bus drivers cause a 90-day period before a driver is ready to serve the district.
  • The district’s two-tier system for bus routes was touted to the reduction of the number of late buses.
Put in perspective

The district is currently advertising driver job openings on its website in hopes of further reducing the shortage. However, some board members and Superintendent Roosevelt Nivens cited the anger directed toward the bus drivers by some parents as another reason why some district bus drivers have recently quit the job and why others will not come back to the district.

Roosevelt, in reference to a video he recently posted to the district website on the subject, urged the community to be kind to the drivers operating under adverse conditions.

“We are grateful for your grace and patience during the rollout of new school hours. Please thank a bus driver as they've been working hard to make sure all students are safe getting to and from school,” Nivens said in the video.