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Letters from readers

Greetings,

My wife drove a school bus for 11 years. Your article presses on the lack of drivers that have been snapped up by companies like Amazon—have you ever interviewed some school bus drivers and asks what it really entails?

Some interesting facts, the cap pay for a school bus driver is $16/ hour, does not matter how many years you work for them, a fresh new driver will make the same as a seasoned one.

Drivers are part-time employees, for the holidays you get to file for unemployment, you do not get paid for the summer.

Drivers get up between 4:30-5:30 am, do the morning runs, then have a few hours layover, then drive the afternoon runs and get home around 5:30pm if lucky—this is considered a part time job.

On the weekends you are so exhausted you sleep to recover.

Drivers have no healthcare offered or available.

Some routes are so tight, there are no scheduled bathroom breaks.

Offering the companies anything will not affect their interest in paying a proper wage, the government decided to subcontract most of their school bus program years ago to save money on employing drivers properly.

–Name Withheld by Request

Editor’s Note: The bus contractor companies CBM Bay Weekly reached out to declined to comment for this story.

Dear Editor,

Your article on the school bus issue was interesting but failed to answer a question many parents are asking—if this problem was known in advance (and how could it not be) why wasn’t the school system more proactive in engaging and communicating with parents about the issue and possible solutions? My mom always said the schools were her partner is raising her kids. Unfortunately, throughout the pandemic, AACPS seems to keep treating parents like adversaries or children.

 All parents want the schools to succeed. We need them to succeed and will help them do so! Until the schools start including parents in the issues they are facing they will continue to add anxiety and anger to what is already a tough situation. That is not a good example to our kids or a good partnership.

–William Kraus, Edgewater