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Pasco County Schools Considering District-Wide Schedule Change

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) - The Pasco County School District is considering changing school start and end times, all because of a bus driver shortage.

Heidi Janshon is a parent and teacher in Pasco County Schools and says "My first reaction was 'Wow, I had never thought of that,' but the problem will be for our littles. Our elementary school kids."

Janshon says when she heard that the district may be changing the school bell schedule, she started getting worried.

"So it's going to be a big struggle," she said.

Pasco County Schools announced on Monday that is considering a district wide schedule change because of a bus driver shortage.

Kurt Browning, Pasco County Superintendent, says "The bus driver shortage is worse than ever."

Browning says the shortage is causing major issues when it comes to learning.

"Many of our students are late, arriving to school in the morning which results in loss of instructional time. And they are late getting home in the afternoon or evening, putting a strain on families," said Browning.

So now the district is considering a plan that would move some school's start times earlier, and some later to allow bus drivers to have enough time to take kids to school.

"This will have a far ranging impact on students and staff," said Browning.

Janshon says the most impact will be on elementary school kids and their parents, which is why she hopes the district creates an early drop-off care program.

"Those are the parents that need to be home with their children. They can't just send little Johnny off and say 'hey, make sure you set the alarm before you lock up,'" said Janshon.

She says the new schedule will be a difficult adjustment for teachers and bus drivers too, and she isn't sure it'll help the problem.

"And for the bus drivers, we might even see them drop off, I don't know if it's going to encourage more or they are going to be on their last straw saying 'I can't do this anymore,'" said Janshon.

The new start and end times are scheduled to come up during the regularly school board meeting on November 2, and if passed, then the new schedule would go into effect in January.

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