Bus, driver shortage plagues Greenville Co. Schools - FOX Carolina 21

Bus, driver shortage plagues Greenville Co. Schools

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GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

For the fourth time, according to parents, the school bus to Beck Academy Middle was late Monday.

Sixth-grader Elisanne McClure said she was at the bus stop for an hour waiting. She ran home in tears thinking the bus had left her.

Her mother, April, said she received an automated phone message later informing her that the bus would be 50 minutes late.

"It wasn't exactly a surprise. It happens a lot," said Elisanne.

One parent said the bus did not get her children to school until 9 a.m., 45 minutes late. The children missed quizzes and received excused tardies.

"All it takes is a few bus drivers to be out or a breakdown of buses," said Oby Lyles, director of Communications for the Greenville County School District. He said bus drivers on medical leave and broken-down buses are to blame, and said the state is not doing enough to efficiently repair and replace the old bus fleet.

"On some days, we don't have enough substitutes to fill all the positions," he said, adding that the healthy economy in Greenville is taking potential bus drivers to other employment opportunities.

"There has to be a backup system," said April McClure. "Something is wrong with the system. It's not reliable for our students right now."

Lyles said he hopes the state will wake up to the problem and spend more money on school transportation so the problem can be avoided.

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