Update: The school board has approved the pay increase for school bus drivers. The increase will go into their upcoming paycheck.
ALAMANCE COUNTY, N.C. -- After months of planning, the Alamance-Burlington School System will present a proposal to increase wages for bus drivers throughout the county.
The increase would be around 90 cents per hour for most employees.
According to the attachment on the school board agenda, those who have been with the district at least 35 years could see a $1 increase per hour.
“We all recognized that the bus driver pay is not where it should or could be,” said Jeremy Teetor, the executive director of finance for Alamance County.
The district, like many counties across the state, has seen a change in bus drivers being employed.
Teetor says the main problem the district has is a high turnover rate for bus drivers.
He mapped out how this has trickled down to less permanent bus drivers and longer routes for those who do drive, which can then lead to more frustrated parents.
The district has long waited for a state budget to be passed in Raleigh.
However, with each passing day, the district has grown more restless, so they decided to take matters into their own hands.
Currently, the district has 150 buses that take 504 different routes every day.
As of December, Alamance County still has 13 open spots for drivers.
Many of these drivers are not eligible for benefits for their work because they work less than 30 hours a week with the district.
"There’s not a lot we can do on the benefits front, but at least on the pay front, we know we can kind of work with them," Teetor said.
The district is optimistic about the proposal bringing in more permanent drivers, which could lead to shorter routes for students and drivers.
If the proposed plan to increase driver's pay per hour passes, it will be implemented in the next paycheck.
If it’s not approved, the district will discuss it with the board at a workshop meeting on Jan. 14.