The Marion County School District needs more school bus drivers. School Superintendent Dr. Mark Griffith said there are not enough drivers to cover all the routes in the county.

The district would like five new bus drivers to fill the vacancies. In the meantime, they are using contract drivers to double up bus routes for the nine schools in the district.

“Right now we are struggling every day to find bus drivers," Superintendent Dr. Mark Griffith said. 

Marion County has 26 bus routes, but a month into the school year, they only have 22 drivers.

“For the past few years, we have had a shortage in bus drivers, but this year it seems to be a little worse than ever, to be honest,” Griffith explained.

Superintendent Dr. Mark Griffith said his bus drivers have faced different personnel issues. He said that's what is causing such a shortage this year.

“We've had some issues with insurance, we've had some issues with sickness, and we’ve had some medical issues,” Griffith said.

In 2008, Dr. Griffith cut a few routes in the county to save money. Some believe that is a factor to this problem.

“I will take the blame for that, during budget cuts during that time, we were trying to save money and stretch those routes out. I will burden the blame on that,” Griffith said.

Dr. Griffith said they currently have a few people working to get state certified to drive a school bus. In the meantime, they will continue to have drivers on multiple routes.

If you would like to work as a bus contract driver, contact the Marion County School District at (423) 942-3434.