CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Parents in Iredell are seeking a last-minute solution to get their kids to school after Lake Norman High School officials said multiple buses won't operate until further notice.
The announcement comes just days before the first day of class for Iredell-Statesville Schools on Monday, Aug. 29. Several districts across the Charlotte area, including Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, are facing a driver shortage as students return to the classroom. On Friday, CMS said it still has 45 vacancies for drivers, with about 30 people in the pipeline to join the fleet.
In an email to parents, school officials said the bus route disruption was caused by a driver shortage.
The following buses that serve Lake Norman High School will not operate, according to Assistant Principal Magdalena Steytler:
- Morning routes: Buses 63, 91 and 375
- Afternoon routes: Buses 62, 63, 394, 91 and 375
Bus 31, a morning route for Lake Norman High, will run approximately 30 minutes later than expected, Steytler said in Thursday's message. The school is asking parents to have students at their bus stop 10 to 15 minutes earlier for the time being.
"Sorry for any inconvenience ... wow," one parent wrote in a message to WCNC Charlotte.
Working parents worry they will not be able to get their child to school and make it to their job in time without the help of the school buses.
In a statement, Iredell-Statesville Schools said it has been working for the past six months to find a solution to the bus driver shortage. The starting pay was recently increased to $17.62. The school district is also offering financial incentives to teachers and coaches who have a CDL to drive a bus route.
I-SS Superintendent Jeff James stated:
"We are confident that we will begin school on Monday safely and with a committed group of Iredell-Statesville employees eager to serve the children of Iredell County. We respectfully ask for patience and grace from the community as we continue to work to fill vacant positions across the district."
As of now the district says they have some new bus drivers waiting to complete the driving course. The hope is to have these issues resolved within the next month.
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