CLARK COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) -Clark-Shawnee Local School District superintendent said they are facing bus driver shortages, like many other school districts in Clark County and across the state.

Superintendent Brian Kuhn said they have 18 bus routes, and one substitute bus driver. At the moment, he said they’re at an “okay” level, but if too many drivers call off at the same time, it may create catastrophe.

“If we can’t get students to school how do we keep them in our classrooms for instruction?,” said Kuhn. “Do we combine routes, do we pick up one route later and those kids get to school late? If we’re down too many drivers is it possible to even have in-person learning that day?”

A shortage of bus drivers has been an issue plaguing school districts for years, and not just in Clark County. However, Clark County Combined Health District Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said the coronavirus pandemic has likely increased the problem.

“Some of the older substitute teachers and some of the older bus drivers were more at risk for COVID, and so they’ve decided that thisis probably not a good time for them to be exposed to all those young children,” he said.

Kuhn said Clark-Shawnee is not only struggling to find bus drivers, but staffers and substitutes in all specialties. Patterson is encouraging anyone who is vaccinated, or not at a health risk to take the opportunity to lend a hand for the community.

“Folks are looking for good paying jobs,” said Kuhn. “[And] being a bus driver, there’s decent pay, you have decent hours, [your] summers off, your schedule can align to your kids…we provide all the training [and] good retirement, good insurance. So it might check a lot of boxes for someone either looking to supplement their income.”

To learn more information about becoming a bus driver for Clark-Shawnee Local Schools, click here.