NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Parents across Norfolk Public Schools were notified via robocalls on Wednesday and Thursday about disruptions or a complete lack of transportation to and from school, as well as the cancellation of all after school activities for some schools as the result of a school bus driver shortage.
Parents were given the option of either picking their children up, or waiting for them to be dropped off, which could see significant delays.
There are currently 107 openings for bus drivers in Norfolk, according to the school division.
Some school drivers who are currently employed are not showing up to work this week because they say they’re not being properly paid for working overtime on account of the lack of drivers, according to Thomas Calhoun, the president of the Norfolk Federation of Teachers.
“They’re doing the extra runs because they’re short, and they don’t mind doing the extra runs, but they’re not getting paid for the extra runs,” he said.
NPS bus drivers are hourly employees. They make between $15.30 and $26.83 per hour, according to NPS.
The school district would not answer any further questions on the shortage on Thursday, and denied multiple requests for an interview.
The Norfolk School Board also denied WAVY’s request for an interview.
“They should have sent a letter out so people could make plans,” said Thomasine Bailey, a grandparent with five kids in different NPS schools.
She said the last few weeks, her grandkids have been getting off the school bus later and later.
Norfolk Public Schools sent a message home to families Thursday night saying they expected Friday’s transportation routes to run as scheduled for both morning pick-ups and afternoon drop-offs.
other school divisions are also suffering from bus driver shortages, according to data from the Virginia Department of Education as of Feb. 14.