MCKEESPORT, Pa. (KDKA) — Some students are trying to find a way to school in McKeesport.
The McKeesport Area School District is responsible for busing kids to public and more than 40 non-public schools. Right now, the non-public school students do not have rides.
"It's mind-boggling. We had issues last year with buses and now we have issues with this year's buses," parent Regina Croch said.
She said Monday that messages were sent to parents explaining how busing was changing.
"That's not enough time ... parents depend on the buses," Croch said.
The district's provider, Krise Transportation, needs 50 drivers for the public and non-public school routes. Right now, it has 25.
"We could have a licensed person and put them behind the wheel, but we want to make sure they're safe and compatible with the kids they're transporting," Krise Transportation President Tom Krise said.
Right now, only the public and special education school students have rides. More than 40 other schools are looking for ways to get their students to class. That includes 298 kids at Propel McKeesport.
In a statement Propel said:
"This is more than a problem about a shortage of bus drivers. It's about ensuring that our scholars are getting the equitable education that they deserve. Informing us the day before our scholars were expected to be in class is unacceptable, especially when some of our families do not have the means to transport their children on their own. We are hopeful that we will be able to work collaboratively with the McKeesport Area School District to identify a viable solution. Every minute counts. We need our scholars in school."
"If kids can't get to school, kids can't learn," Allies for Children Executive Director Jamie Baxter said.
The group advocates for the needs of children in Allegheny County. Baxter said missing the bus can cause ripple effects for families.
"If that school bus is not arriving and there's not another way, then those parents might not be able to work," Baxter said.
Krise Transportation said it takes drivers about four to five weeks to get through its course. It hopes to fill more of its routes ASAP.
If you would like to learn more about becoming a driver, Krise said to call its office at 412-763-0480 or visit its office at 216 Eden Park Blvd. in McKeesport. It has job fairs daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
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