• Osceola County student kicked off packed school bus amid dire bus driver shortage

    By: Janine Reyes


    OSCEOLA COUNTY, Fla. - An Osceola County woman said her son was kicked off the school bus moments after he got on Thursday morning, because there was nowhere for him to sit.


    The district said it's still dealing with a bus driver shortage that's leading to delays for more than a dozen routes and lost classroom time for students.


    The district is down 49 bus drivers, and all supervisors and office staff who have a certification to drive are trying to help fill the gap, but it’s not enough.


    “He goes outside, I hear the bus. I go back to sleep. I didn't have to be at work until noon,” said parent Sherry Phipps.



    Phipps thought that sound meant her son was on his way to Gateway High School about 6:30 a.m., but the bus was at capacity.  


    The district is trying to cover all routes as best it can, but the driver shortage is causing delays that have made kids late to class.


    Phipps said her son's bus driver did not make it clear if she was coming back to pick him up.


    Link: Apply to be a bus driver in Osceola County


    She did come back, but Phipps, who had no way to get her son to school, didn't know the driver would return until she called the school and was then told to call the transportation department.  


    The district posted a notification on its Facebook page alerting parents to 15 routes that could be impacted.


    But Phipps is now worried about Friday morning.


    “If I’m not mistaken, they're the last pick up, so the bus will get full again,” Phipps said.


    Her son was one of about five students impacted on the route.


    The school district said it is actively trying to recruit more drivers, and the school bus driver shortage is a problem in other districts as well.

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