WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The school year is just days away. Some area school districts do not have enough bus drivers. That’s why one local superintendent is trading out his office chair for the driver’s seat.

From pay increases to better routes, many school districts are working hard to attract drivers. The superintendent of the Clearwater district is taking it one step further. He plans to get behind the wheel of a bus to ensure every student has a ride.

“I have other things to do, but it’s my primary goal that we have high-quality school every day, and if that means I get on a bus and go get some kids to school, then that’s what we’ll do,” said Chris Cooper, the Superintendent of Clearwater schools.

Clearwater Superintendent Chris Cooper is doing whatever he can to address the need for drivers. More pay and fewer bus stops are just a few ways his district is adapting.

“It’s a complex problem to have. People need bussing,” said Cindy Couchman, the superintendent of the Buhler school district.

Buhler Superintendent Cindy Couchman said they have been short on drivers for years. The district even added an hourly rate of $25 without benefits to try to get more people behind the wheel. But the shortage is forcing more changes.

“They will do routes for one school, get them started and then go do routes for another school, so we have had to implement staggered start times at Buhler,” said Couchman.

It’s a different story in Liberal. District spokesperson Tyler Parks said they target Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) drivers in the area. With pay starting at $15 an hour, he said Liberal has enough bus drivers and their strategy to staff the busses is working.

“The head of the bus drivers, they know where to look. It’s small communities out here. They know who’s close to retirement, who’s lookin’ for a change, and seek those people out,” said Parks.

If you would like to apply to the openings for bus drivers, click on the links below: