Springfield Public Schools offers new incentives for bus drivers in efforts to end shortage

Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 9:06 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Springfield Public Schools announced multiple incentives for bus drivers in order to stay competitive with other schools and industries.

In 2020, the school district experienced a shortage in bus drivers and raised their starting wage to $17 an hour.

The district is again facing the shortage like other schools around the nation and is in hopes the new incentives will bring in more drivers. Drivers in southwest Missouri lately have turned to cross country trucking in our area because it is a hub that offers competitive incentives and wages.

“We have struggled hiring bus drivers and we started this year 11 drivers short,” said Penney Rector, SPS Chief Human Resources Officer.

The district is bringing in new programs including: a new driver program, peer-coaching, attendance and safe driving programs.

The new driver referral program will give the referring employee $250 dollars.

“The peer coaching program is in place to help new bus drivers become at home with the district and the coaches receive $500 annually,” said Rector. “The attendance program will encourage less absences and if drivers are there 95-percent of the time they are eligible for an additional $800-$1,600 a year.”

The safe driving program will also offer a quarterly incentive of $250 if drivers can remain accident-free.

“We want to be more competitive than we have been historically,” said Rector.

The district made a point it will also be hiring retirees willing to come back to help after Governor Parson signed a waiver allowing retirees to work full time again.

“We can utilize that opportunity to bring in more of our retirees so we will be exploring this option as well,” said Rector.

To learn more about the new incentives or to apply to become a driver for SPS click here.

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