Wake schools hope driver incentives help avoid busing delays
Posted August 6, 2013
Cary, N.C. — The Wake County Board of Education is expected on Tuesday to decide how to pay for an incentive-based program aimed at helping the school system avoid major busing issues for the second year in a row.
In 2012, budget cuts created headaches for dozens of Wake County parents during the first few weeks of school. New bus routes and fewer buses on the roads kept some children from getting to school or home on time for several days.
The new incentive program, which could cost as much as $1 million, is something school system leaders hope can help recruit and retain drivers. Currently, the Board of Education is planning to pay for the program using money from its reserve fund.
Current Department of Transportation employees will be able to earn an extra $1,000 for keeping their absences low, and they can also get $100 for referring someone who becomes a new driver.
Watch Tuesday’s Board of Education meeting live on WRAL.com beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Wake schools told WRAL that they have enough drivers to cover all bus routes on the first day of the school year for traditional-calendar students, but officials said the county still needs about 50 backup or substitute drivers.
School leaders on Tuesday are also expected to vote on the names of two high schools that will be built in Cary and Garner.
Prior to Tuesday’s meeting, new Superintendent Jim Merrill will be sworn in. Hired in June, Merrill began his tenure as the leader of the Wake County Public School System a week ago.