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FWCS moves two schools to e-learning due to bus driver shortage

Fort Wayne Community Schools switched two schools to e-learning days today/Thursday due to a bus driver shortage. The shortage has been affecting districts in the county for several years now.

FWCS announced this morning that Northrop High School and Lincoln Elementary School on the city’s north side would both have e-learning days today.

Spokesperson Scott Murray said the district had several drivers out today, which led to the change.

“So, district leaders have been working really hard to offer incentives to get new people to drive buses for Fort Wayne Community Schools,” he said.

Incentives include a sign-on bonus of five thousand dollars, if applicants already have a commercial drivers license, or CDL, a program to give performance bonuses to bus drivers, and an increase in base wages.

Murray said contract negotiations have increased the base pay to 22 dollars an hour. That package still has to be approved by the school board.

The shortage in drivers and bus monitors has affected school districts all over the region, with multiple districts listing ongoing efforts to fill these vacancies.

Ella Abbott is a multimedia reporter for 89.1 WBOI. She is a strong believer in the ways audio storytelling can engage an audience and create a sensory experience.