Bus Driver Shortage


It’s a failure of funding and workplace conditions. Note to Mon Schools, address them both and you’ll get your drivers.

Driving young children to school is an important job, it’s extremely valuable, a vital service, and here are the kickers: it’s difficult and poorly paid.

The job pays like crap. That’s the main problem. The conditions are trying and the hours are awkward, split up as they are.

It’s a tricky job. These aren’t half-empty Mountain Line buses carrying self-sufficient adults and navigating main roads. School buses in Monongalia County are loaded with needy children navigating narrow and steep twisting back roads. Not easy. Hugely important.

So Mon Schools not only should but ever more obviously needs to pay the drivers well and needs to listen to them and act on their needs, and ought to stop making useless excuses for why these difficult positions can’t get staffed.

The answer is to pass big-time levies (a property tax), which Mon Schools seems not only reluctant but loathe to do.

Now why would that be?

Because Mon Schools treats parents and the public so piss-poor, so often, that naturally a lot of support may not exist for an increased tax on property. But wait, a huge number of students and their families in the public schools are impoverished and don’t own much if any property that would be taxed. And the vast majority of the other students and their families are hardly huge property owning moguls.

It just so happens that the big shots who own much of the county would rather not pay much at all for the public schools, but instead much more greatly prefer to pump their money into sports facilities (which they can get their names on) rather than adequately fund the schools, classrooms, and busing. Thanks.

Amazingly enough public support matters if the public schools are to function well. That is why it is important that the board and the Superintendent stop acting so asinine and irresponsibly in one way after another. Because it severely impacts their ability to even minimally get the job done.

Sure the state is to blame too. It urinates and defecates on the public seemingly at will. And it fails to tax big coal and gas and other industries enough (a scandal of extreme proportion), and it sets the regular school tax that Mon Schools must abide by…but the state does not control the levy rate. Nor can the state be held responsible for the local spitting on the public that Mon Schools is renowned for.

Why does Mon Schools continue to refuse to broadcast its school board meetings on the internet? Afraid of what the public will see?

Mon Schools has a busing problem, for sure, and many other problems. And many of those problems are not only the responsibility but also the fault of the whiny state-blaming school board, the superintendent, and other administration.

Excerpt from today’s Dominion Post (which is difficult to impossible to link to given DP’s creaky website):

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