Most of the parents live in the Huron Pines subdivision south of Brighton off Bishop Road in Green Oak Township.

The parents said the situation was bad last year and – with school set to start a week from today - feel that things will get worse before they get better. One parent, Shawn Howell of Rolling Pines Drive told the board that her young child, who attends Hawkins School, will be spending nearly three hours a day on the bus this fall. The board discussed the matter at length, but what it all boiled down to was a shortage of drivers.

Superintendent Greg Gray said the district should have 30 bus routes, and budgeted for that, but they can’t find enough drivers. Gray told the parents that if he had even one more driver he would split the route that includes Huron Pines and the Sand Crane subdivision off Nine Mile Road, which have the longest bus times in the school district. He says the district has increased pay and benefits for bus drivers in an effort to attract more drivers, but to no avail. Gray adds that they advertise in all relevant publications, but so far that has not been successful. However, Gray says he welcomes ideas the parents’ group has about how to attract more drivers. He says one of the few drawbacks of a good economy is not enough people to fill the available positions, remarking that during the recent recession they had plenty of drivers.

Board President Andy Burchfield directed Gray to come up with a recommendation on a bus driver recruitment plan by the end of the week. (TT)